ABC Games: ABC Cup Hunt

Activity for ages 3 to 6.

Learning the alphabet takes practice and ABC games help make all of that work fun for kids. This easy cup hunt game is a simple and entertaining way to teach children how to recognize the alphabet. {It can easily be changed to work on sight words, numbers and math facts too!}

ABC Games: ABC Cup Hunt

ABC Game 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 the alphabet with your child, choose 5 letters and write each one on a cup.  {If you’d like to work on sight words, you can find a list of sight words for new readers here.}
ABC Games: ABC Cup Hunt

ABC Cup Hunt

Show your child what you’re going to hide underneath one of the cups. {In my example, I used a bright green pom pom but you could really use anything.} Ask her to close her eyes as you hide the treasure underneath one of the cups. When you’re ready, have your child open her eyes, read a letter written on one of the cups, and look underneath it to see if it’s covering the object.
Continue playing until she finds the hidden object. This ABC game is so easy to set up and seriously fun to play!


Find More ABC Games


For even more ABC fun, try out our 20 Printable ABC Games , 20 ABC Games for Boys and  our ABC Games Board on Pinterest!


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 {4.5, 3 and 1}. 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. Jill Pere says:

    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. Hazel Shah says:


  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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  1. […] Ok, the title of this category is a little bit of a stretch. Finding the hidden treasure underneath one of the cups isn’t exactly as simple as looking for an X. But it’s addictively fun nevertheless. Cup Hunt is a playful, hands-on way to help children practice letters or sight words. Check out the details here. […]

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