Teacher Appreciation

August 2023

Hello Friends,

The teachers have returned, and the 2023-2024 school year is now in full swing. School leaders have done an excellent job of creating enthusiasm and setting the stage in August. However, the challenge lies in maintaining that momentum throughout the year. One effective strategy to accomplish this is by incorporating enjoyable games into faculty meetings or professional development sessions.

Since I always love a good theme, let’s talk about solo cups. Here are four fun games and a prize idea all with solo cups.

Big picture


Solo Cup Pong

  • Supplies needed: solo cups, ping pong balls, and small rocks or something to put in the bottom of the cups for weight to keep them from knocking over easily
  • If you want to keep score, write points on the bottom of the cups
  • Set the cups up in rows, circle, or pyramid
  • Participates stand 4-6 feet away and bounce or toss the ball into the cups

Solo Cup Stacking

  • Supplies needed: solo cups, rubber bands, and string or yarn
  • Groups of 4
  • Tie four pieces of string on the rubber band
  • Have the solo cups upside down
  • Participants use the string to open the rubber band, place the rubber band over the solo cup, move and stack the solo cup, pull on the string to open the rubber band and release the solo cup
  • Continue until the cups are stacked in a pyramid
  • Nika Davis, principal at Boswell High School, shared with me that when she did this activity she put letters on the cups and the teachers had to unscramble the letters to spell out a quote or saying.

Solo Cup Ball Drop

  • Supplies needed: solo cups, ping pong balls, and string or yarn
  • Groups of 2
  • Set solo cups in a line, have the participants sit on each end of the cups, and give the pair two pieces of string or yarn that is 4-5 feet long
  • Participants need to pull the strings/yarn taunt and then place the ping pong ball on the string/yarn
  • Participants will use the string to roll the ball above the cup they want to drop it in and slightly open the strings/yarn to drop the ball
  • There are a few variations on the goals of this game. You can do the first team to put a ball in each of the cups wins, or you can write numbers on the bottom of the cups and if they get the ball in they get that many points

Solo Cup Slingshot

  • Supplies needed: solo cups, rubber bands, and ping pong balls
  • Set the solo cups up in a pyramid
  • Participants stand 6-8 feet away from the solo cups
  • Use the rubber band to slingshot the ping pong ball to knock down all of the cups


Candy Bouquet

  • Supplies needed: solo cups, rocks for weight, foam or spray foam, tissue paper, kabob sticks, and full or fun size candy bars

Another perk to solo cups is you can get them in various colors such as school colors or colors to match a theme you might be using.

Incorporating enjoyable activities into your faculty meetings or professional development session, whether they last for 5 minutes or 15 minutes, can have a positive impact. The important thing is to prioritize their inclusion. By integrating quick and fun activities, you can create an engaging atmosphere that your teachers will appreciate. Additionally, there’s a bonus benefit: some teachers may even be inspired to implement similar quick and fun activities with their students.

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You can view previous newsletters on my website.

I am always looking for teacher appreciation ideas. If you have any you would like to share email me at Kathleen.Eckert@iCloud.com

Bring me to your District!

I am available to work with district and campus leaders on teacher appreciation and teacher retention. If you would like me to come work with you and/or your district let me know. You can find more information about presentations and workshops on my webpage.

Thank you for loving teachers,

Kathleen Eckert

Follow me on Twitter @EckertKathleen