Telephone Cup Game

Plastic cups connected by a string to make a telephone

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to listen to, understand, and respond to communication from others.

Materials Needed:

  • Plastic cups
  • String or yarn
  • Pen or scissors

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction, or 2 or more participants/players.


  1. Puncture a hole in the bottoms of the cups with a pen or scissors. Cut one 2-to-3-foot piece of string or yarn for each telephone you want to make.
  2. Thread one end of the string through one cup and tie a knot on the inside of the cup. Repeat the process on another cup so you now have two cups connected with a string.
  3. Place your mouth to one cup and ask your child to hold the second cup to his ear. Say something silly into the phone, such as “Elephant’s pajamas” or “peanut butter pickles.”
  4. Ask your child to repeat what you said. Did she get it right? Next, she can take a turn saying something to you to see if you can repeat her message correctly.
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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
Plastic cups connected by a string to make a telephone