We’ve had the same set of stacking cups forever. I have no idea exactly when we got them or where we got them; they are just a part of the decor, moving around occasionally from bedroom to bathroom to living room and, heck, sometimes the car. Now that Andrew is able to (mostly) sit up, I brought them out and let him go to town.
The first thing I always like to do when I have a new toy is to just kind of put it out there and see what happens. I’ve learned a lot of structured play ideas over the years, but I have a great appreciation for the organic. (Plus, what better way to get 10 minutes of time to fold laundry, or eat lunch, or sit and read than to toss a new toy at a kid and say, “Here! Have at it!”)
I know that, when I first got the cups, I was mystified by them. I knew how to make a tower with them, but baby Eric couldn’t do that. So now, enlightened as I am in baby play, here’s how Andrew and I roll:
- Nest them and practice pulling them out. I’ll do one, Andrew will do 3, stick them in his mouth, topple over, and knock the remaining ones all over the place.
- Build a tower – my job, not his. I’ve discovered that, if I build it, he will come…to knock it down.
- Lay a cup on it’s side and roll it. Before long, Andrew pushes the cup himself, then crawls after it. Rinse and repeat!
- Cover one or more cups with a blanket. Pull the blanket off a few times with a flourish – watch the sheer delight on his face when it is revealed! Then, leave it covered… Sometimes, Andrew goes to find it. Sometimes, he gets distracted by the blanket himself. Yum! Blanket!
- Practice nesting the cups. Andrew won’t master this one for a while, at 5 months, but every now and then he tries!
- Turn the cups upside down and arrange them in a pyramid. Throw things at it, or just knock it down straight. Babies love destruction for some reason!
- Eric invented this one, and it absolutely cracked Andrew up. He would pick up the set, and one by one drop them onto the floor (at a distance from Andrew, of course) while singing, “It’s raining, it’s pouring!”
- Ours have small holes in the bottom, so they are fun in the tub too…or will be once he is sitting a little better!
Now, being a mom of a CI kid, it goes without saying that I narrate the whole process. Up, down, crash, in, out, on top, big, small, colors… For older kids, there are plenty of language games to be had, but at this point I’m just pouring the language in.
What fun stuff do you do with stacking cups? I’d love some more ideas!