Stacking cups are a true classic. This simple toy you probably remember from your childhood provides unlimited opportunities for learning.
There are 8 cups, each just large enough to nest the next smallest. The cups are numbered from 1-8 and have the corresponding number of tiny holes pierced into their base.
- Nesting: This is the most basic work. I like to put the cups out stacked for initial exploration, and model stacking them again when it’s clean up time.
- Stacking: This activity forms a tower with the cups turned upside down, the largest cup at the base. It takes more precision of movement to complete. Level I follows the procedure of first flipping the nesting cups over and then meticulously building the tower to the right. Level II begins with the cups at random and its necessary to visually discriminate in size to select the cups in the correct sequence.
- Ordering by size: Here the cups are lined up from left to right by size
- Ordering by number: This activity looks just like ordering by size, but the focus is on the numerals written on the cups bottoms. It focuses on memorizing each numbers symbol and sequence of numerals.
- Conceptualizing Quantity: For this activity, first line the cups up from smallest to largest. Then use small counters such as dry beans to fill the cups with the number of beans inscribed on each cup.
- Water exploration: Add the cups to the bath. They can be used to experiment with pouring. When lifted, water will pass through their small holes, furthering the possibilities for scientific discovery.