What it is: A simple clapping routine that’s fun to do with a big group of people. You learn the routine and try to do it as fast as you can. I’ve played during summer camps in cafeterias at meal times. It makes a lot of noise, and it’s fun to do with a lot of people.

Best for: A big group of at least 10 people (but you can play with less).

What you need: You need a table to sit at and enough people to sit all around the table. Then everyone who’s playing needs a cup. It’s best if all the cups are identical. They should be small enough that they’re easy to grab. Plastic Dixie cups work okay, but sometimes they’re too lightweight. Ideally, you’d have a bunch of plastic restaurant tumblers, like the kind you get at one of those all-you-can-eat pizza buffets (CiCi’s, anyone?).

How to play: To get ready, have everyone sit around a table. The bigger the table and the more people you have, the more fun it is. And to work right, everyone needs to be sitting next to each other; no empty spaces. Then everyone gets a cup and turns it upside on the table right in front of them.

Now the best way to teach this game is with a video, so three of my sisters helped me make one. Just watch!

So when you really play, you’ll be sitting in a circle and be able to pass the cups all around, making the game a loop that goes on and on. You gradually get faster and faster, until no one can keep up and everyone laughs.

Variations: You could play more competitively and eliminate anyone who messes up, making the circle smaller and smaller, but for that you’d need to modify the group size around the table. The real fun is just in trying to go as fast as you can as a group. And in making a lot of noise.


  1. I just wanted to say thank you SO much for your site! I am teaching English in South Korea and this has been a GREAT resource for me during winter camp! My girls love your games!!

    1. I use to play the cup game when I was in high school and college. That was close to forty years ago.

      It is a fun game!!

  2. I am your grandmother’s BEST friend. She shared your link with me. I will share it with my grandchildren, who LOVE games. I think you are very clever, like your beautiful mother, whom I LOVE.
    Pat O’Dell

  3. Im teaching English in China, and have used so many of the games from your site! Thank You for giving me ways to bring joy and laughter to otherwise shy, boring, and uncreative kids!

    Thanks a million!!!

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