When we went to the science museum last weekend, they had one room devoted to building activities for older kids.  Their activities were simple and yet genius – I was amazed at what one can do with basic plastic cups!  We decided to try cup stacking at home.

We got a large bag of 84 cups for $5 at our local grocery store, but this activity would be even more frugal with cups leftover from a party, or cups purchased on sale and with a coupon!

This is such a goofy picture!  I don’t know which one of them suggested that they wear matching camo today…

Aidan had done cup stacking before, and knew that if you build in a circle, you can get your stack to go higher.  We then tried making a pyramid, but couldn’t figure out how to get it to work…

We decided to settle for just a square design.

This activity would suit a wide range of ages – probably kindergarten on up.  Gresham (4) was a little young.  He didn’t quite understand the building principles with cups, and kept knocking it down unintentionally.   However, for those with the building skills, this will hold their attention for a long time!  There are so many variations on what you can build!  A great activity for the upcoming bad weather months!

Does anyone have any cup stacking tips or ideas to add?

Linked to Frugal Friday


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  1. Lindsay @ BytesOfMemory Oct 18, 2010

    My son is only 3 but I will definitely be storing this idea away for when hes a little older!

    1. Chelle Jun 25, 2012

      My 3 year old loves stacking the smaller Dixie cups. You can fit a nice stack of them in a Pringles can which is great on the go.

  2. Erica Oct 19, 2010

    Great idea, my son will love this, thanks for sharing!

  3. free2befrugal Oct 21, 2010

    Cool idea, letting your kiddos have at it with that many cups. My son would be in high heaven if I let him try that! I think he loves making up random stuff to play with better than any of his real toys.

    Remember when Wet Ones used to put their wipes in those container that looked like giant Legos? They were the best! Free toys!

    Nowadays I find myself saving the lidded containers from cake frosting for reuse. We store homemade playdough in them, paint, craft things, etc. at the preschool where I teach. They be great for stacking too.

    1. Sarah Oct 22, 2010

      That is a great idea - saving empty icing tubs! The last time we made play doh, I didn't know what to put it in.

  4. Dorothy Jan 8, 2011

    I totally remember when the wipes came in those lego containers. That was awesome, those were the only wipes I would by and I had twins so we went through a lot of wipes, LOL. I think at one point by the time they were toddlers and potty training we had over 50 containers and they loved building with them.

  5. Tonya Lawson Jan 8, 2011

    My son used to love to stack the individual-sized creamers at restaurants. The idea is the same as the cups, but since the size is smaller, it's good practice for small motor skills.

  6. Emma @mummymummymum Feb 3, 2013

    oh fantastic, my little by would love that.
    Thanks for linking up to Little Builders and I am sorry for the late comment.


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