Toddler Activity: Playing with Cups

I drew a blank.

I didn’t know what to have George do. He was getting into the laundry while I was folding it.

I was about to go nuts. I needed something for him to do.

I drew a blank, though. What can a toddler do?


I just made a list of 50 activities just for your toddler.

And I still couldn’t think of one.

So I thought about my list. What on there could I do at that very moment? What did I have handy and takes no preparation?

Ah. Cups.

Thank you to The Imagination Tree for the idea!

I have plastic cups.

Toddler playing with plastic cups

So, I set out a stack of a few plastic cups and just let George play with them.

However he wanted to.

He transferred them from one pile and made another.

Tried it upside down, pretty much any way you could possibly put a cup together with another cup, he tried.

Toddler stacking cups in different ways

And he just played.

With plastic cups.


Huh. How simple.

Toddler playing with plastic cups

By the way, my laundry still didn’t get folded.

Oh well.

I did notice though that these cups are #6 plastic! When making the list of recyclables you must upcycle for your kids, I remembered Creative With Kids used this plastic to make shrinky dinks!

We’re so doing that. I told Henry about it and he was super excited [I even got the oven ready for it…], but he got distracted by Dad and headed outside instead. So, another time we’ll be making some shrinky dinks! Can’t wait!

George is 19 months old.


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  1. Ali @ At home with Ali says

    I love it Jamie. I wonder if George is similar to my youngest one – she is not interested in toys but loves anything ‘real’. She would totally get into those plastic cups.

    • Jamie says

      Sort of. George likes his toys too — well his ‘farm toys’ that seem real… but he does like anything that I use. Wants to explore it all :)

    • Jamie says

      It is. The simpler the better for toddlers. Just one item. No thoughts or preplanned actions- just let them go. They seem to love that.

  2. says

    What a great reminder!

    My house is overrun with those cups. I always think I need more, and then get home and have too many. Maybe I can slim down the stash! :)

  3. Jen@Plain Vanilla Mom says

    Plastic cups are the best! They never get old. Our big kids constructed and entire “city” out of them one day. Entertain them for a couple of hours! Even the babe likes to bang them around. Cute post :)

  4. says

    What a great idea and so simple, I will have to start looking more at what I have at home to entertain my little one. Thanks for such easy ideas for things to do at home, love getting your emails with your ideas too! thanks :)

  5. says

    Ooh I did this With my son before he turned 1 and he LOVED IT, but thanks for the reminder!!!! I had forgotten!! It’s so hard to get housework done with him around sometimes!!! I’ll definitely be trying this one again soon!!!

  6. Emily says

    We actually got my 5 yo a package of plastic cups for a Christmas gift last year. He and his 4 & 6 yo cousins had snagged some out of the cabinet at Thanksgiving and spent an hour + playing with them and knocking them down. He & his 2 yo sister have a ball building with them, bowling at them, and seeing how tall they can stack them.

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