ABC or Sight Word Cup Hunt

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ABC or Sight Word Cup Hunt

Activity for ages 3 to 6.

Memorizing sight words takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. That’s why I love creating games that will make all of that work fun for kids. Sight Word Cup Hunt is an easy and entertaining way to teach children common words and it can easily be changed to work on alphabet letters too.


To Prep


To set up the game, you’ll need to gather a few supplies:

  • 5 cups,
  • 5 mailing labels,
  • A marker,
  • Something to hide {small balls, marbles, pom poms, etc.}


If you’re working on sight words with your child, write one word on each label.  {You can find a list of sight words for new readers here.}

ABC Cup Hunt {Playdough to Plato}

If your child is learning alphabet letters, pick 5 and write one on each cup like this:
ABC Cup Hunt {Playdough to Plato}

To Play

Now, invite your child to play Cup Hunt with you. Show her the item you are going to hide underneath one of the cups. {In my example, I used a bright green pom pom.} Ask her to close her eyes as you hide it. Then have her read one of the words {or letters} written on a cup.
After she reads it, invite her to lift the cup up and see if the object is hiding underneath.
If she is incorrect, ask her to read a different cup and then lift it.  Continue playing until she finds the hidden object. So easy to set up and seriously fun to play.


Find More


For even more sight word fun, try out our 15 Editable Sight Word Games and make some homemade Sight Word Mosaics.


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Disclosure: Playdough to Plato is a participating member in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.


About Malia Hollowell

Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned stay at home mama to three young kids {4, 2.5 and 5 months}. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Education {go Stanford!} and spent seven years teaching in a classroom. Since starting Playdough to Plato in 2012, her ideas have been featured in Parenting Magazine, Pinterest's Top Educational Pins and Kiwi Crate.


  1. I love this idea! What a simple way to practice letters or words.

  2. Thank you, Gina! It’s one of my favorites too. :)

  3. At Easter time, write letters or sight words on plastic Easter eggs and scatter them in the yard or around the house. If the child can tell you the letter or word, they get the treat inside.

  4. Fun idea, Jill! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Great idea, and so simple to prepare. I wonder if it would work for sight words.

  6. Love this idea! With the alphabet letters, you could also reverse the method. Using small candies or treats, hide one under a cup and then have them figure out which cup it’s under my providing a word whose first letter corresponds with the correct cup. Ex: The word is ‘Cat’ and I’ve hidden a treat under the cup marked ‘C’.

  7. Oooh! I LOVE that idea, Kait!!

  8. You’re right, Rebecca. The cup hunt is a perfect activity for sight words practice. :)

  9. Great game! Children love to find things. I like how it is very repetitive, but fun because of the “treasure” the kids are finding. You could even put a little treat or snack under the cup. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!

  10. Comment

  11. hi
    i like this idea
    my child is 3.3 yrs old
    he cant recognize the alphabets well
    would like to know a suggestion that SHOULD I TEACH HIM FIRST THE UPPER CASE OR LOWER CASE
    please guide thanks

  12. Hi Ankita,

    I’m happy to read that you’re a fan of the cup hunt!

    Most US preschools start with the uppercase letters first and then move on to lowercase letters in kindergarten. But many people suggest that kids should actually learn the lowercase letters first because they see them more often in text. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Once children begin learning letters they often begin making connections between uppercase and lowercase quite quickly.

    All the best,


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