6 Different Ways to Play with Stacking Cups

What a fab way to develop your kiddos concentration, gross and fine motor skills than the stacking and re-stacking of cups (and be prepared to do it a LOT!) 


How can such a simple toy have so many benefits we hear you ask? 


There are endless learning opportunities with these fun play props; grouping and sorting skills, positional language (next to, on top of, opposite etc) skills, numbers, colours, we could go on. 


We’ve put together some great ideas for tonnes of fun with your little one and stacking cups. 

Exploring the cups. 

For babies about 6 months place the cups around baby (if you need to, place a cup in baby’s hand) in no particular order for them to reach out and explore with their little fingers. Watch how they start to pass the cup from hand to hand, they will also drop a bigger cup in preference for a hold of a smaller one that they can grasp their little hands and fingers around easily. 


They will also immediately place the cup to their mouth, allow them to explore and make connections with all their senses. 


Through them exploring an extension activity you could try is to prompt them to bang the cups together- if they’ve mastered holding one a cup in each hand, get making some beats and watch baby try to copy you. 


A great activity for the older babies is to build and demolish their towers, stack the cups up, let them grab a favourite toy and watch the tower tumble as the toy knocks it all down; “silly teddy, we’re ready to start all over again” (and again, and again, and again). 

Water play 

Save your pots, pans, no need for Tupperware... get using your stacking cups. 


Baby will love passing the water from one vessel to another, watching the water flow as they pour it out (hopefully not on to your carpet) and watch them excitedly scoop it all back up again. 


Make it even more fun for older babies and add bubbles, foam or edible items into the water and see if they can catch and scoop them up with their cups. 

Positional language 

It’s never to early to start narrating what you’re doing when playing with your little ones. 


A great activity to help develop those much needed language skills is to stack the cups up whilst discussing HOW they’ve been stacked “the pink cup is on top of the grey cup” ...“ I’m going to put the yellow cup next to the pink one” and so forth. 

Form a band

Grab yourselves a wooden spoon and make some music.  

Your little one will love making as much noise as they can with their new drum kit. Let them experiment with how the different sized cups make different sounds. Show them how to make quiet music and LOUD music whilst simply explaining the difference. 

Why not add some pots and pans too and let them raise the roof!

Hide and seek

To further our little ones language and positional skills a great activity is to pop something interesting underneath one of the cups, line the cups in height order and prompt your little one to find it “can you find the toy under the small cup?” Then tapping the small cup to direct baby towards it. 

Clap, cheer and celebrate when your kiddo finds the hidden object. 


To extend the activity you could see if little one could hide it for you to find. 


Bounce the ball

This is a super activity for the older ones, does exactly what it say on the tin. Turn the cup upside down, bounce a ball and see if you can get it in the cup. 

Happy stacking!

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