ABC Cup Hunt

This easy cup hunt game is a simple and entertaining way to teach children how to recognize alphabet letters. (It can easily be changed to work on sight words, numbers and math facts too.)

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ABC Cup Hunt

Getting Ready

Setting up the game is really very easy. First, gather a few supplies:

  • 5 cups,
  • 5 mailing labels,
  • A marker,
  • Something to hide (small balls, marbles, pom poms, etc.)
Choose 5 letters and write each one on a cup. (I like to introduce a few letters at a time so that I don’t overwhelm kids.)
ABC Cup Hunt {Playdough to Plato}
Then invite your kids over to join you. See?! I promised it was easy.

ABC Cup Hunt

Show the kids 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 a volunteer to close her eyes as you hide the treasure underneath one of the cups.
When you’re ready, have her 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, check out our Alphabet Mega Pack!

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20 Super Motivating Alphabet Games

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  1. Gina

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

    • Malia

      Thank you, Gina! It’s one of my favorites too. 🙂

  2. Jill Pere

    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.

    • Malia

      Fun idea, Jill! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Rebecca

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

    • Malia

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

  4. Kait

    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’.

    • Malia

      Oooh! I LOVE that idea, Kait!!

  5. Tulip

    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!

  6. Hazel Shah


  7. ankita

    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

    • Malia Hollowell

      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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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!