Everyday, Simple Idea #28: Twisting Cups

I am sharing some of the simple, daily things I do at home as a Mom that come from my occupational therapy background.

twisting cupsEveryday, Simple Idea #28: Twisting Cups

I saw this idea online and had to try it and create a few of my own variations (with an occupational therapy focus.)

All you need are 2 cheap clear cups(the free ones at hotels are perfect) and a permanent marker.  I made two versions, each took less than 5 minutes to create.

This game is appropriate for ages 3 and up, and would make a create car trip activities (or quiet activity for waiting in a restaurant or in a line).


Here is the first version I made- a shape and number matching game.


The second version I made was more just for fun- a boy and girl with 2 outfits each.


  • Visual-motor integration skills (using eyes and hand together in a task)- because this game using rotational movements, it provides a nice challenge to process the visual skills and plan the appropriate motor response.  You can adjust the level of skill needed by changing what you draw on each cup.
  • Visual scanning skills– a child’s eyes have to look and scan the visual items on the cup, a critical visual processing skill to support reading skills in school (and many other skills as well).
  • Bilateral coordination skills (using 2 hands together for a motor task)- this game requires one hand to hold one cup stationary while one hand rotates the second cup.  Using 2 hands together helps to build strong motor skills.
  • Cognition- this game helps a child build problem-solving skills, attention, and task persistence.  It is simple enough that children can do it on their own, but can be made with variable level of challenge based on a child’s age and abilities.

Looking for other ideas to development arm and hand skills:

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.  www.paigehays.net