Bridge Chain Reaction

Cups and popsicle sticks turned into a bridge for at home crafts

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to demonstrate an understanding of cause-and-effect, maintain focus, and sustain attention.

Materials Needed:

  • Craft sticks
  • Cups

Participants: This activity is intended for independent play for school-age children, preschoolers may need help with the initial set up.


  1. Place 2 cups across from each other. Balance one stick across the cups.
  2. Add another cup and stick, resting the new stick (2) on the middle of the first stick.
  3. Add another cup across from the last cup and place another stick (3) with one end on the cup and one end on the middle of the new stick.
  4. Continue adding cups and sticks. Every stick will have one end on a cup and the other on the stick before it.
  5. When you have completed the bridge, remove one cup from the beginning of the bridge, and watch what happens! The way the bridge collapses is a chain reaction.
  6. Rebuild the bridge and play again. How can the cups be moved to create a new shape? Can the cups be moved to make a letter, number, or shape?
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Cups and popsicle sticks turned into a bridge for at home crafts