At nearly seven months, your baby is beginning to leap out of your arms to reach for things she wants. Her mind is very busy and her body is starting to keep up. Her hands and mind are interconnected. She will make greater connections to the world around her if you give her opportunities to explore using a hands-on approach. Give her toys that she can explore to help her figure out how things work independently and also in conjunction with other objects. The following is a list of activities you and your baby can do together using stacking cups, also known as nesting cups. The ideas are not bound to only these twenty. If while playing with your baby you come up with a different activity, go with the flow. Teachers call those "teachable moments." The overall purpose of these activities is for your baby to begin learning important skills and for your baby to feel pleasure from your encouragement and praise.|
Twenty Stacking Cup Activities Your Baby will Love
- Stack the cups from smallest to largest and largest to smallest. Which one seems easier for your baby to knock over?
- Order the cups in front of your baby from tallest to largest so each cup touches the next. Walk her hand up and down the steps you just created. Do you think she senses the upward or downward motion?
- Line up the set of stacking cups. Hide an object under one or all the cups for your baby to discover. As an alternative, stack the cups upward with a hidden object under each one. When your baby knocks the tower over, she will find the hidden treasures. Does she acknowledge the hidden objects?
- Tape circular pictures inside each stacking cup for your baby to discover. Does your baby find them intriguing?
- Use the upside down stacking cups as mini drums. Can she use an object to bang them together?
- Place a stacking cup on one of your baby's hands. Let her explore it with her other hand. Can she pull the cup off her hand?
- Place a stacking cup on each hand. Do they stay on very long? If so, is she able to bang them together?
- Line the cups up in front of her. Use a plastic golf ball to demonstrate how to toss the ball into an open cup. Give her the ball. Does she make a hole-in-one? If so, show praise for her accomplishment.
- Cover one of her ears with a stacking cup. Say "I love you, (name)." Then cover the other ear, then both ears, repeating the same phrase each time. The last time repeat without covering. This activity will give her an idea of how sounds vary and that her ears are important for hearing. How did she react to having her ears covered?
- What attributes does a stacking cup have? Does it roll? Does it have flavor? Does it make a sound when it is dropped? Does it float or sink? Experiment with your child. What did she discover?
- Using a small blanket or cloth, partially hide an object underneath. Is your baby able to locate and uncover the hidden object?
- Use the stacking cups in the bathtub to pour and scoop water. Is she interested in playing with the stacking cups, or is she more interested in splashing around in the water itself?
- Build a pyramid using the stacking cups. Discuss concepts of colors, numbers, etc. to guide your construction. About how long does it stand before she grabs it to explore?
- If your cups have numbers on them, trace the numbers with her index finger as you say the number. Then count up to that number together and show her how many using your fingers. Let her grab your fingers so she can feel the quantity. Is she interested in your finger representation of each number?
- Lay on your belly in front of your baby. Place a stacking cup on your head as if it were a hat. Sing "Mommy's got a hat on her head. Mommy's got a hat on her head. Get Mommy's hat." Does she reach or try to knock the hat off your head?
- Color match each stacking cup to a corresponding paper circle. Name the color and give an example of something that color represents. For example, "Red. An apple is red."
- Obtain a set of Little People farm animals. Arrange the stacking cups in front of your baby and place a different animal under each cup. Sing "Old MacDonald" and when you get to "Old MacDonald had a ..." encourage your baby to lift up a cup to reveal the animal you will sing about. Continue singing and let your baby play with the animal during that animal's portion of the song.
- Place your baby in her highchair. Arrange the stacking cups in front of her with a bib, a jar of food, some finger foods, etc. under each cup. As she lifts up each cup, she will further conclude that it is time to eat, and she will discover what items are on the menu.
- Go on a nature hunt and use the stacking cups to collect treasures. Collect grass, small harmless bugs, flowers, etc. Talk about each one as you add to your collection; just be careful she doesn't attempt to eat her treasures.
- Once your baby begins to crawl, place the stacking cups around the room with a baby toy under each one. Encourage her to crawl around and find each one discovering its contents.