Sunday, January 13, 2013


I actually started working on this blog after Christmas when I had a little time to explore on the web.  I’m so out of the loop I didn’t even know Toby Keith had a song called “Red Solo Cup.”  Don’t worry!  This blog isn’t going to be rated “R.”  (Although there were some clever things in the video!)  It will be rated “G” for GOOD teaching ideas using plastic cups.

This “cup” idea was planted by Mona Hickerson when I was in Oklahoma City several weeks ago.  You can’t beat plastic cups for price, adaptability, and creativity.  Doing this blog keeps my mind working and with a little exploring on the web and a trip in my closet from the past I’ve come up with a cup or two for you! 

Hint!  You can use any size cup to make these activities.  I used permanent markers as well as fabric paint to write on the cups.  I really like the paint, but I’m not sure how well it will hold up with lots of play.  Please give me some feedback.  I also used my favorite E6000 glue for the pictures.

Alphabet Cups – Write letters on the sides of the cups and the tops.  Children can put these in alphabetical order or make words with the cups.  (I put the uppercase letter on one side and the lowercase letter on the other side.)

*Glue pictures to cups and use them to match beginning sounds, ending sounds, vowels, etc.

*Write words on cups.  Children arrange them to make simple sentences.
*Write word families on cups.  Children can read the words as they stack the rimes.

Math Cups  - Write numerals on cups.  Children can put them in numerical order.

*Write numerals on one set, number words on a set, and on others draw sets of objects.  Children can stack the numerals, words, and sets.

*Use cups for place value - one color for hundreds, one for tens, and another for ones.

*Write fact families on cups for children to rearrange.
*Write addition and subtraction facts on cups.  Can children stack the ones that equal the same amount?

*Use different colored cups for children to make patterns.

*Have children sort the cups by odd and even numbers.

Secret Pennies  - Place a certain number of pennies on the table in front of a cup.  Explain that you will hide some pennies under the cup.  Have children close their eyes as you hide a few pennies under the cup.  Can they guess how many are under the cup?
*This would be a fun game for children to play with a partner.

Hint!  If you use bathroom cups you can store them in a Pringle’s Can.

Matching Games  - Trace around the bottom of cups on a file folder.  (Bathroom cups work best for this game.)  Write numerals on the circles or letters on the circles.  Challenge children to match cups and circles as fast as they can.  Mix the cups up and then see if they can stack them in order.
*Write compound words (one word on each cup) and have children stack them and tell the word.
*Glue pictures of mother and baby animals, things that rhyme, opposites, animals and habitats, things that go together, before and after (you get it) for children to match and stack.
Hint!  Old workbooks have great pictures for games like these.
Review Questions - Write a question on the front of the cup and write the answer inside for a self-check activity.