Three Cups and a Bone

Length of Activity: 35-40 minutes

Optimal Student Grade Level: 3-6

Steve’s Notes: This can be an outdoor and indoor activity. Both versions are described below. This game is excellent for teaching the philosophy of team -work, communication and cooperation (TCC). • I ordered the bones through U.S. Games — they’re called "Poly Parts" in the Catalog & cost around $40.

Outdoor Game:

Workers may do any of these work tasks to earn three cups and bone:

Students let the teacher know when they have successfully completed a "work task" then take three cups and a bone to the builders. Put cups and bone where you think they belong. (Builders may move them) When you’re done go do a different work task.

Builders — build the best skeleton you can and create the roundest circle of cups you can create. Emphasize to students importance of using TCC.. M If it is windy stack the cups on thin-topped pylons. Give each group 3 of these thin pylons.

Equipment – Hundreds of cups, two or more sets of Rubber Skeleton, six pylons, six basketballs and two long jump ropes (Thin pylons for cups to stack on when it is windy).

Players — A team for every set of bones. Teams will be broken into builders and workers. Generally three builders and the rest workers.

Builders — They put together the skeleton and finalize the placement of cups for the giant circle. Important for them to fuse good T.C.C. They make final placement decisions. Workers bring them the bones.

Workers — They do the work tasks that earn the right to gather "Three cups and a bone"

Procedure — Teacher goes over general builder, worker, team jobs and procedure

Teams — use T.C.C. in beginning… discuss strategy, problems … pick builders.

Workers — do the work tasks that earn the cups and bones

Indoor Game

Builders job — same as "Outdoor Game" only build a pyramid instead of a giant circle with the cup

Workers Tasks

Workers and Builders may trade with T.C.C. negotiation and teacher permission.

For Three cups and a bone, yogurt cups are

32-oz cups are a little more exciting, but are very difficult to store as you need about 1000 to play the game.

Kindergarten balancing cups after a work out.

Pictured is 3 cups and a bone in action, using both yogurt and 32-oz cups. Please note the cardboard boxes in the background — these are homemade "steps for step aerobics. They have six cans in each.

Please scroll to next picture to see the steps



Cheap, good steps for Step Aerobics, or general work-out activities. Your lunch room can easily get you the cans and boxes.

Special Ed Participation

Often I let the Special Ed kids nock down the cups at the end, they love it! Most can easily participate at some adapted level.