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How to Make a Punch Cup Game for the Classroom

Classroom teachers are always looking for ways to keep learning fun and exciting for their students. Enter Punch It! – a punch cup game with a twist for test prep review, learning, and skills mastery. Read on to find out how to make a punch cup game for the classroom – a true punch cup game DIY tutorial.

I created this game to be used at any time of the school year, but it’s especially helpful during skills review and test prep time. It’s super easy to set up and game play is not complex at all! Best of all, your students will LOVE playing this game and will beg to play it ALL. THE. TIME. Guaranteed!

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Here are the steps for setting up your Punch Cup Game and playing it as a class:

First, gather all the supplies you will need to make your punch cup game. It will take about 30 minutes to set this up the first time, but once you’ve done that, you can reuse the punch cup tray over and over again by just adding new prizes and tissue paper. So, time investment up front for lots of fun learning time down the road!

You will need:

  • Large Cookie Sheet (you can even set up two sheets to use side by side for a larger class)
  • Large Plastic Party Cups (there are so many great colors available)
  • Rubber Bands
  • Tissue Paper
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • A Few Small Prizes (I used these adorable Umiku 3D Erasers…. super cute!)
  • Fun Teacher’s Pointer (for punching the cups)
  • Punch It! Game Cards and Point Cards (or you can make your own)

See the entire tutorial by watching the step-by-step video here:

Now that you’ve gathered all your supplies, you are ready to make a punch cup game for the classroom! Let’s get started!

Begin by using a hot glue gun to add a ring of glue to the bottom of each plastic cup. Turn the cup over and press firmly to the cookie sheet. Do this with all the cups until the sheet is covered. Be sure to leave a little space between cups so that you can later add the tissue paper and rubber bands.

Next, drop slips of paper with point values into most of the cups. In a couple of the punch cups, drop small prizes or pieces of paper that say “prize” on them, so students can get a prize from you later.

Once all the cups have either a point value or prize inside, cut out squares of tissue paper a little larger than the top of each cup. Secure the tissue paper to the top of the cup with a rubber band.

Please Note: While the punch cup board is sitting flat in these photos, you can definitely display or hang it on its side. (Just drill 2 holes on one side of the tray and hang with twine or cord.) It is a little more fun to punch the cups straight on, rather than downward. The class can also see the game better if you hang it on its side.

Now that your punch cup tray is fully prepared and ready, you can begin playing a punch cup game! Place a stack of question cards (you can write your own or get them premade and ready-to-go) face down in a pile on the table.

Divide the class into two or more teams. Have a student from one team turn over a question card. Every student must solve the problem, but you’ll mainly be checking the answers of the team whose turn it is. If they get the correct answer, then a member of that team earns a turn to punch a cup.

Have the student carefully (if students are a bit careful, you will be able to reuse the punch cup tray time after time by just adding new tissue paper) punch a cup with either their fingers or with a fun pointer. If there are points inside, the student’s team wins those points. If there is a prize inside, the student gets to keep the prize.

Continue playing until either all cups have been punched or all the question cards have been answered.

The punch cup tray should last a long time and be able to be reused by just adding new prizes, point values, and tissue paper after each game.

I love that this game setup can be used with ANY set of question cards! It really is the perfect review and test prep activity!

Get your ready-to-go, printable Punch It! Punch Cup Math Bundles for the Year here:

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Shelly Rees

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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