Sunday, May 27, 2012

Erupting Cups Singing Time Review Game - (A Popular One!)

I highly recommend this Singing Time activity the next time you want to do a song review. The children (and teachers!) seemed to really love it last week. This was one of my favorite Singing Time activities to date because everyone seemed to enjoy themselves so much, and because participation was so high. In fact, I had one primary counselor comment to me that it was the perfect activity for that day because the children had seemed so restless; they needed something exciting that day.

The concept is simple. You call children to the front of the class, and ask them to choose a spoon, which they then stir into a cup of water. The water will either change colors, indicating which song the primary should sing, or will explode (bubbling up and spilling over the sides of the cup), which means the primary sings a song of the child's choosing. The children really seemed to enjoy the anticipation of finding the exploding cup(s).


You'll need:
- 3-8 clear cups
- food coloring in several different colors
- as many spoons as you have cups
- baking soda (enough to fill each spoon)
- vinegar (enough to fill several cups)
- water (I used a pitcher and filled the water at the drinking fountain before sharing time began)
- trays in which to place the cups, and which to capture any liquids that ooze out of the cups
- songs written in colors that correspond to the food coloring (don't forget that if you want, you can make additional colors by mixing two food coloring drops)
- paper towels / napkins - something you don't mind potentially staining in case you need to clean up a mess


  1. Place a drop of food coloring on each spoon.
  2. Cover each spoon with baking soda.
  3. Fill each cup with water except for the exploding cup(s), which should be filled with vinegar instead. (When the baking soda comes in contact with one of the cups of vinegar, it becomes an exploding cup, as the baking soda reacts to the vinegar.)
  4. You can make a note to yourself which colors go with which songs. I opted to write the songs on a piece of paper in colors that matched the food coloring. I wrote two songs for each color since I didn't know which spoon would end up in an exploding cup. Then, I let the child choose which of the songs of that color they wanted to sing.
This activity lasted the entire singing time, and was super fun.

September 9, 2017 News: Hi everyone, I just want to thank you for all of your years of interest and support for my blog. I was released as Primary chorister four years ago but I still get a lot of questions and requests, and it's still fun for me to brainstorm ideas for you! One of the results of all of my years in Primary is (and I should mention first that I'm a writer with a journalism/English degree) I wrote a season book for the Primary kids! My Nativity ABCs is available for pre-order now on Amazon and will be hitting stores in mid-October.

Credits: I have seen this activity online on many other singing time blogs so I don't even know who to fairly credit. I will say that our stake primary chorister also shared this idea during our stake primary training a couple months ago (Megan T.), and said that she does this activity quarterly because it is so popular. In fact, I think she said it was her children's favorite singing time activity.


  1. Love it, will use it tomorrow :)

  2. Thanks!! A FUN alternative to using treats...can't wait to use it!!

  3. Thank you! We'll try this tomorrow :)

  4. I'll surely use tomorrow, thanks for save me!

  5. Brilliant! We are totally doing this on Sunday.

  6. I am doing this tomorrow, but I am wondering about the prep. Would it be ok if I prepared my spoons & cups the night before? Or did you just do it at church the day of?

    1. I think I replied to this by email? But if not, for others to see - I brought a little baggie with the baking powder and the colored drops, and set it up right before Primary. In Senior, I had to re-set everything and I just ducked behind the piano where nobody could see me.

  7. I did this activity a few months ago and it was a huge hit! I saw it on line, but I don't know who I should thank. What I did was write the song words on various colored paper. Then I put the song words on the chalk board in order. When the child selected a color she/he would mix the solution and the children loved it when the mixture exploded. Next, I turned that color over and the children had to sing trying to remember the missing words. Of course, you have several words with various colors. I used the basic food coloring for the paper; red, blue, yellow, green, and even purple. It took up the entire singing time. Excellent for reviewing a song.
    Have fun!

    1. Thanks for sharing this Diana. I love this version. There are so many fun ways to do this activity! I also like having the color determine the fun way that the children are going to sing a song.

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