Cup stacking # 2 (5 - 6 year olds)

Children learn through play and movement


Home Learning

Cup stacking is a fun activity that incorporates early reading skills with a range of other growth areas such as fine motor development and mathematical skills.

What to do

For this activity, you will need paper cups and markers. To set up, write down various letters on the bottom of the cups. You can adjust the difficulty by focusing on tricky letters or adding an extra challenge by focusing on sight words.

Allow your child to explore the cups and observe how they can be creative with them. Challenge your child to build a tower, reading aloud the letter or sight word as they use each cup. Alternatively, challenge your child to stack the cups into each other as fast as they can as they read the bottom of each cup.

Cup stacking is open ended and can provide children many opportunities to develop various skills. Whilst stacking cups, children are exposed to elements of sequencing, patterning, and geometry that build up their mathematical skills, in addition to developing a foundation for problem solving and critical thinking. Stacking cups quickly and accurately, whilst multitasking by reading, helps enhance their attention and focus, and strengthen hand-eye coordination. Most importantly, it is a fun way for children to practise their reading skills!

Cup stacking

Stacked cups

Learning outcomes

  • Literacy: phonics awareness, phonetic differentiation, reading sight words
  • Numeracy: sequencing, patterning
  • Fine motor skills: hand-eye coordination
  • Social skills: problem solving, critical thinking, attention, focus, multitasking

Discuss with your child

  • What can you build with these cups?
  • What do you notice?
  • How can you sound out these words?
  • Can you think of another way to play?