Fill the Cup Relay Race

Who can pass up the chance to get wet and wild with a bucket and sponge?
1 bucket per team
1 sponge per team
3 to 5 plastic cups per team
hula hoop for each team (optional)

1. Divide the group into evenly numbered teams. It's ideal to have about 6 people per team.
2. Fill a bucket with water for each team.
3. Have teams line up at their bucket, and hand them a sponge.
4. Set up 5 cups for each team - about 10 to 15 yards away. You can use a hula hoop to designate each team's cups if you like.

How to Play

1. On "Go" the first person on each team takes the sponge, dips it in the bucket, and runs with the wet sponge towards the empty cup.
2. Once he/she arrives at the empty cup, they squeeze and much water as possible out of the sponge and into the cup.
3. As fast as they can, they run back to their team and hand off the sponge.
5. The next person in line picks up sponge, dips it in the bucket and repeats the relay!
6. The relay continues until all 5 cups are filled. This may mean that players go more than once.
7. The team that fills all their cups first, wins.


1. Instead of using a sponge to transport the water, you can use a cup with holes in the bottom! Use plastic cups and carefully make holes with a screwdriver - 3 or 4 will do (this is an adult job). The results are hysterical. Only rule here is that kids can't put their hands under the bottom of the cup to stop the flow!
2. Use tea cups instead of plastic cups. A stellar idea for a tea party.
3. "Popcorn Relay"- This is the exact same concept as "Fill the Cup Relay" except a large soup spoon is used to transport the popcorn from one bucket to the other. As the kids run with a full spoon of popcorn, they are NOT ALLOWED to use their other hand for help. Clearly popcorn will get all over the floor (kinda messy). However, when the game is over play another game to facilitate clean up! Which team can pick up the most popcorn from the floor using their toes! It's two games in one!


1. Encourage teams by giving them an update on how fast the cups are filling.
2. As a team fills each cup, you can turn the finished ones over, so team members can see how they are progressing.

Activity Length
5 - 15 minutes
Competitive (has winners and losers)
Easy peasy (fun and simple)
Mess Factor
Dustpan, please
Noise Level
Number of Players
5 to 10
10 to 20
Prep Time
5 minutes or less
Space Needed
Large (gym, outdoor field, reception hall)
Team Division
Every man for himself (individual players)
Teamwork! (divide into teams)