* Prices may differ from that shown
Nan and Grandad treated my daughter to these ELC stacking cups a few months back. I had read excellent reports on them and thought they would be fantastic for learning all sorts of skills. They are recommended from 6 months and upwards - I think my daughter was about 9 months when she received them but that was only because we hadn't seen them earlier. I would have had no problem with her using these at 6 months, although I do think their use would have been a little more limited back then. It was only at about 12 months that she really started to show an interest in them but obviously every child can take to toys differently. Ours were purchased from a toy section in a local garden centre, costing £6.
There is so much to investigate with these cups. There are ten cups in total, each in a different colour. They are made of plastic with some being transparent and some being full of colour. They are all numbered 1 to 10 so they can be used to learn colours and numbers up to 10 beyond the main concept of stacking the cups.
The cups are all sized differently with number 1 being the smallest and gradually getting bigger with the largest being number 10. Each of the cups has a ridge on the bottom (or the top whichever way you look at them!) onto which the next sized cup fits in order to stack them up into a tower, with the largest number 10 cup starting at the bottom, then number 9 and so on until a tower forms. Each cup is a similar height at around 9cm tall so the overall tower when complete is quite tall at about 90cm. Although tall, the tower is only as wide as the largest number 10 cup which is about 10cm.
We cannot recommend these cups highly enough. My daughter can spend hours with these doing all sorts of things and not get bored. She loves to stack them up first and foremost - she'll tip them out onto the floor and stack them up as much as she can. I help her to build it up to a full tower because she can't quite manage to stack the whole thing up yet but she is able to stack them up in batches of about 5 or 6. She gets a bit impatient sometimes with the stacking, just as she likes seeing them fall down so much!
She understands that the ridges are there to place the cups on. If she places the incorrect cup on top eg number 1 placed on number 3 and not number 2, she will immediately swap it for the correct one as she knows it is not right. The ridges keep each cup very sturdy in place and she knows that if the cup moves at all on the top that she needs to swap it around. Eventually, as she learns numbers, she will be able to do the stacking in no time at all as she knows that the cup labelled 9 fits on 10 and so on.
We also place the cups out side to side in size order, partly so she can see the different sized cups but mainly so that she can see the numbers on the cups. The number is made of risen plastic on the bottom part of each cup and are perfect to learn the numbers 1 to 10. Although we do this, she hasn't picked up any numbers just yet but these will help.
Also the colours. She has just started to understand the different colours and their names. If I say 'which is the yellow one' she will look at them and then bring one of the cups to me. It isn't always the correct one but more often than not it is correct.
She even incorporates other toys into the games. She has small rubber ducks that are about 5cm wide and she will bring those to the cups, work out which cup they fit in and pop them inside. She likes to find a much larger cup than the ducks because she then will walk about the room rattling the duck inside the cup to hear the noise it makes! She also thinks it's hilarious if I pop one on my head as a pretend hat (probably because I look daft).
They also get a huge thumbs up from me because they are so easy to store - the cups all slot into each other, with the largest being the outer shell so they don't take much room up in the toy box either. Even the storing of them is a game within itself - my daughter will hold them when they are slotted together to store, then hand each cup to me individually in alternate hands watching me slot them back together into a storing state. We can play that game for 10 minutes before she'll tip them out and start stacking them again!
These cups get the full 5 stars from us. They are faultless in my view and a super toy to learn all sorts of things. My daughter is over 1 year older than the recommended age and still plays with these all of the time, they look practically brand new still too! An excellent set.
Thanks for reading :o)
When my daughter reached about a year of age she started trying to stack building blocks and other items, so I bought her these Stacking Cups from the Early Learning Centre to help her development in this area. The sales assistant recommended them to me and I picked them up for just over a fiver. They seemed like the exact toy for my daughter at the time.
I was a bit disappointed when I opened the box and found a very basic set of cups, made of what feels like cheap plastic. Each cup is a different bright colour and a slightly different size so that they slot together to make a large tower. This makes sense of course but unfortunately my daughter did not like the rigidity of having to stack them in a specific order. This meant that she kept trying to stack the cups incorrectly and they would easily topple over, which she found very frustrating. I have shown her how to use the cups and seen that she is able to stack them correctly, but she doesn't understand why she can't use them in different orders. Having thought about it, nor can I.
The cups are also numbered so although I don't encourage my daughter to stack them now, she does like to play with them by putting different objects in them etc, and pretending to sip from them as she now has her own little cup at mealtimes. The numbers are useful as I am teaching her to tell the difference between them and she does seem to understand this. So although this toy doesn't allow much creativity, any creative parent can certainly make use of them if not for the traditional purpose.
As she is 17 months now my daughter has had plenty of play with these cups and they are not particularly dented, and easy to clean. There are also holes in the cups so that they can be used with water, which is probably a fun game for an older child. My daughter does like to play with a few of them in the bath as she understands that some cups hold water while these Stacking Cups do not.
For little over £5 I think these are a good buy, but it you want to encourage your child's building skills I recommend building blocks, either wooden or cloth, rather than these rigid plastic cups. I also think it can encourage children to play with their drinking cups if they are given these Stacking Cups, though not all parents will find this - we started our daughter on a drinking cup at a young age as she really wanted to copy us whenever we ate at the table.
I do recommend these cups but only if you think your child will really enjoy playing with them, and if you are going to help him or her to play with them, as otherwise they are little more than bits of plastic that can be frustrating to little ones who want to do more than just stack them in order.
The CrazyEgg's have been living in interesting and turbulent times. November disappeared into a whirlwind of hospital stays and visits to the doctor for Baby CrazyEgg. We regressed to tube feeds only and Elmo started to develop a bald patch. But in the midst of all this there were moments of progression and delight. Baby CrazyEgg can go 'clack' with her tongue. She used the bars of the hospital cot to pull herself onto her knees. And one night Mr CrazyEgg and I were woken (yet again) by the sound of the oxygen saturation monitor blaring out, only to find Baby CrazyEgg sat bolt upright in the cot putting Elmo on Mr Snappy, and Dog on top of Elmo, and Rabbit on top of Dog. It was seriously crackin' stackin'.
Seeking to harness this new skill we collected the ELC stacking cups on the next 'home-dash' and eagerly waited to see if the stacking triumph would be recreated.
We have had the stacking cups since the end of May when Baby CrazyEgg had a corrected age of 9 months. The ten sturdy plastic colourful cups have been in regular use since that time. They are numbered on their bases 1-10, with 1 being the smallest and 10 the largest. They nest neatly within each other, and make a great jiggly sound when shaken in this form. Turned the other way they can be stacked one on top of the other to make a tower. The cups have a raised circle on their base and a ridge around the inside at the lip of the cup enabling them to slot together cosily if they are stacked in numerical or the expected size-decreasing order. No pressure is needed to fit them together in this way, they are quite loose, and this feature helps babies develop their hand-eye co-ordination. The ridge provides the tower with a very slight, but very effective extra layer of security. It's clever because it still allows for easy destruction.
It is the destruction of towers that Baby CrazyEgg has been keen on up to this point. So much fun does she find this that it has been rare to manage a full ten-cup stack before they are sent hurtling down to the floor.
But the cups have been used for other things. "Let her play with cups!" said the speech therapist. And so we did. Baby CrazyEgg will bring these to her mouth as if drinking from them. She has discovered that if you blow a raspberry into them the sound resonates and is magnified. The differently sized cups produce different notes. She is a kindly soul and often offers her cups to her soft-toy friends, as well as visitors to our house. They have become a socialising device.
She has been keen on the nesting aspect for a long time: trying different combinations of nest, putting other objects in them and taking them out again. Shaking the cups when they have things- megabloks, plastic fruit- inside them. We have even played with them in the bath! They all have holes in the bottom so the water runs out, which is very curious. Where did the water go?
When she is older we could use them to play in sand. They could be used to stamp out shapes as the numbers on the bottom of each cup are raised. And they could be used to build sand towers too.
We were not disappointed when we waited to see whether Baby CrazyEgg would finally stack the stacking cups. She didn't stack in size order, but instead went for a more adventurous 'big-small- upside down-big' style tower. She then moved on to 'big-small-big' all the same way up so the tower looked to just be two levels high, the third cup slotting right over the second. Sometimes she is not precise enough and has to start again, and sometimes she creates a teetering, wobbly tower that defies gravity and the laws of physics.
These simple stacking cups have had months of play and still the numerically correct 1-10 stack eludes Baby. They continue to offer challenge and excitement.
What a great buy! An essential item for the toy box.
My girls were about 8 months old when I decided to buy them some stacking cups as I felt they must have been around so long for a reason. When I looked in my local Early Learning Centre they were easy to find and I was pleased they had them as it is only a small store.
The cups come in a box so you are unable to see the contents inside before you buy. It says that they are suitable from 6 months which I feel is right.
I wasn't that impressed with the colours of the cups that I had in my box. It says that colours and style may vary but sets I had seen at my baby group and a friends house had all been brightly coloured. The set I have is mainly black, white and yellow and all are solid colours with non of the available transparent cups. I was quite disappointed by this as feel that more variety would have been interesting for my little ones.
The cups are made of plastic and are very solid. The quality is very good as you would expect from the Early Learning Centre. My little ones have been playing with the cups for over a year now and to look at them you would think that they are still brand new.
The 10 cups nest inside each other and to start with my little ones would just bang the cups together. One of my babies was more taken with these cups than the other and was soon starting to put a small one inside a large one. This then progressed to starting to build towers, the cups have a rim that the next size cup fits over making it easy for little hands to fit them on correctly. Both my 2 have always loved knocking down a tower that I have built for them and would crawl across the room at high speed to be the first to knock it down.
The cups have the numbers 1-10 printed on the bottom of the cup so you can see these as the tower is being built. Also helpful for when you are stacking them inside each other when tidying up.
If we are going to visit family this is one toy I always take as they hardly take up any room in a bag.
Other possible uses for the cups are playing with them in the bath, the cups have 3 holes in the bottom for the water to run out through. They can also be used for making different sized sandcastles if you have a sandpit.
Price and Availability
I paid £6 for these cups which they are still selling for and as they have had daily use for the last year I feel they have more than paid for themselves. They are available from the Early Learning Centre and other stockists of Early Learning Centre products such as Boots and Amazon.
Would I recommend?
Yes, a great classic toy.
I bought these for my daughter on her '6 month birthday' as her first educational toy and I love them. They sit one inside the other forming a nest about 3" high making them really easy to store. You can also stack them upside down into a tower one on top of the other.
The cups are made from plastic and are therefor very easy to clean, as the carer of any young child knows they will undoubtedly end up in a mouth at some point and so the ease of cleaning is very important. Each cup has a number embossed into the plastic from 1-10 and the cups get larger as the numbers go up.
My daughter is only 7 months old and so our games at the moment are limited to me building towers and her knocking them down, and, her chewing on the cups. My hope is that as she gets older she will appreciate the many things you can do with these cups other than stack them, such as...
Counting, using the cups you can obviously count from 1-10 in order, but also counting backwards, counting in twos and even basic + and - sums
Size of the cups, such as, which is the biggest/smallest? or which one is bigger/smaller?
Building dexterity of hand movements by building towers rather than knocking them down.
Gaining better hand eye co-ordination
Use them as bath toys, the cups have 3 small holes in the bottom of each so the water can trickle out over baby while in the bath, or they make excellent boats
Use them in the sand pit or on the beach for building sand castles of different sizes
Use them in the garden for making mud 'pies'
Colours, the fact that the cups are different colours is great as you can start to introduce the names of the colours, however i would say that this is the only downside to the cups. The ones i purchased are
10-white, 9-opaque blue, 8-red, 7-black, 6-yellow, 5-opaque green,4-blue, 3-green, 2-white, 1-opaque blue. So you only actually get 6 different colours.
My suggestion would be that they varied the colours more, such as
10-white, 9-red, 8-orange, 7-yellow, 6-green, 5-blue, 4-dark purple (indigo), 3-lilac (purple), 2-black, 1-grey.
This way you would be able to do the rainbow song, talk about primary and secondary colours, and talk about which colours we get when we mix two together
All in all a great toy for girls and boys
When my son was born and a friend of ours gave him these Stacking Cups from the Early Learning Centre as a gift, I thought it was a rather odd thing to receive. However, as this friend had children of her own, I trusted her choice and put them by until he was 6 months old - the lower recommended age limit for the toy. Turns out that it was a great gift and, at 8 months, my son loves these cups and they are one of his firm favourites.
The cups are pretty basic - a set of ten plastic cups each of different sizes that slot on top of one another to build a tower. Each cup is brightly coloured and has a number from one to ten on the top of the cup. The cups stack together and hold by way of a narrow groove in the top and bottom of each cup so the stack numerically from 10 (the largest cup) to one (the smallest). They are a smooth plastic around the edge but on the top of the cup there is more texture for baby's fingers as the numbers are more prominent and small circles are indented into the plastic.
In each cup there are also three small holes drilled out of the top of the cup. These are to enable the cups to be used during water play. As the cups are filled with water, you can watch as it trickles from the bottom of the cup, or into another cup and learn about movement. The circle and number indentations on the top of the cup also make these great for sand play as you can use them like buckets, fill with sand and make a sand castle. The number and circles will be imprinted onto the sand.
These retail at £6 at the Early Learning Centre and I think that this is a fantastic price, really great value for money. My son first started playing with these at 6 month when he was first learning to grip hold of things in his hand. These helped him to explore his new found skill and learn how to pick up and hold larger objects as well as small ones. They also helped develop his fine motor skills and learn to grip things in different ways. He has also found them quite useful teethers - biting nicely on the rim of the plastic. The colours are really stimulating as they are so bright and he enjoys holding one in each hand and bashing them together, learning that his actions have a consequence - NOISE (I enjoy this rather less!).
At 8 months, my son has yet to truly benefit from all the learning and fun that these cups can bring. He enjoys watching as I build a tower and loves to knock it down but has yet to gain the skills to build the stack himself. That is why I believe the cups are such good value, he has had enough enjoyment from them already to warrant the £6 purchase price but he has still so much he can get from these that I can still see him playing with them in a years time.
The educational value that these cups have should also not be overlooked - I intend to use them to help him learn colours, numbers and counting as well as help him to further develop his motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination and problem solving abilities.
The cups themselves are well made and really durable. They have been thrown around our living room, dropped, bashed together and bitten more times than I care to mention but the plastic has not dented or even marked at all. They are really easy to clean and I tend to just wipe at the end of the day with an anti-bacterial wipe. They store neatly by packing away neatly inside one another into the largest cup.
In summary, these are just 10 cups but they are so much more than that. I would really recommend these to everyone with a baby of 6 months plus as they offer hours of entertainment and a great platform for your baby to learn and develop in a fun way.
I spent a long time looking round at the different types of stacking cups available, the price range seemed to vary wildly and in the end decided on these as they were at the cheaper end of it. I think they were reduced when i got them so only cost me about £3....what a bargain.
I have not regretted my decision they do exactly what i wanted and what my daughter needed as a developmental toy. They are a good quality plastic and i have the nice pastel colour girly ones.
My daughter enjoys building up her stack and then knocking them over. They are also great to play with in the bath, paddeling pool, water table or when she is pretending to do the washing up. You dont need to spend alot of money and get really fancy cups these are great and she has hours of fun with them.
We brought then when my daughter was 6 months as a reccomended developmental toy she is now 22 months and still loves to play with them.
I would definatly reccomend and think they are worth every penny spent. Another great buy from the early learning centre.
I first came across the Early Learning Centre stacking cups when buying a Christmas present for a friend's baby daughter. My friend reported back that her little girl loved them, and as they had been so reasonably priced I went on to buy them for other friends' children. When I had my little boy 6 months ago someone was kind enough to return the favour, so I have been able to see this fabulous toy in action.
There are 10 cups in a pack, and they are sized from 11cm down to 5.5cm in diameter. The cups all fit inside one another which makes them easy to store, plus putting them one inside the other in this way is just one of the things children can do with them. Stacking cups are a great toy for learning through play, as they can be built up into towers, hidden underneath each other and put one inside the other, teaching concepts such as "on top", "under", "hidden", "bigger and smaller" and so on. Each cup has a number on it, number 1 being the smallest and number 10 being the biggest, so this is a further educational feature. The cups are advertised as being for 6 months plus, and for young babies the key elements of fun to be had are knocking down towers that Mummy has built, or banging the cups together. The cups are nice and thin so that they are easily grasped by small hands, but are sturdy enough to survive lots of rough handling by enthusiastic tots!
The colour scheme is slightly odd, as I would have expected each cup to be a different colour whereas the set we have has two white cups, two black cups, two yellow cups, two green cups, one red cup and one turquoise cup. Having two cups of the same colour is useful for teaching "same" and "different" but it may have been easier for little ones to recognise the different sizes if they each had a unique colour.
As babies tend to do, my little boy has knocked himself on the head with a couple of the cups whilst waving them around, and they are light enough that this poses no danger. A very simple toy to look at, the stacking cup will last him for years as they can be used in sand and water play when he is too old to find stacking them up exciting. They could even be used on the beach as the different sizes would make some fantastic turrets for sandcastles!
I would highly recommend this toy for any baby, as there is so much they can do with them and they keep even young babies entertained for a good length of time. The toy is always reasonably priced and is often marked down further in the sales.
It's very easy to get lost in the motion of buying the best toys money can buy. Often their is a misconception that the more high tech the product is the better it will be for a child. After working in a Children's Centre I now understand the benefits of play and how the simple toys are often the best to start off with.
The ELC Stacking cups are a set of ten bright and colourful cups with 1-10 inprinted into each cup. The smallest cup is number 1, and the largest is 10.
The cups are great for stacking into a tower, which my girls loves to help with. She then knocks the tower down and likes to see it built up to knock down again.
They also have holes in, which provide a different angle for play with water. And a great alternative is to use these in a sand pit and build numbered sand castles.
These cups allow children to learn motion skills, colours and numbers all in fun ways. You can play 'hide and seek' too by hiding the smaller cups under the larger ones and watch your child get excited as you reveal the smaller cups nestled inside.
These cups get knocked about quite a bit however the ELC already know this and have made them as durable as possible. The colours are great-I've noticed you get 5 transparent colour cups and 5 non-transparent cups in each set. We've bought two sets, with different colour combinations. One set is for indoor and one is for outdoor use.
I bought these recently at half the usual price of £6.00 on the ELC website-what a bargain!
I believe these are a must have for any toy box for children from a sitting up age to around 18 months (ELC recommend from 6 months so pretty much the same). As they nest inside one another you can easily pack these for play on the go.
Bargain toy that will entertain for hours.
From ELC are these brightly coloured chunky stacking cups. At £6, considering the are ELC brand they are a good price i feel for a solid robust almost classic toy.
You get 10 cups ranging in size from big to small allowin your child to stack then up in a tower. There are real bright colours and alternate between being a transparent coloured cup to being an opaque coloured cup.
They also are numbered 1 -10 (10 being the biggest). A misleading toy i think, as it seems such a simple toy but children can learn so much from them. My little girl is now 15months and adores her cups stacking them up and knocking them down. But they can learn the numbers colours also about size and judgement of size. You can play games with them i,e hiding a small toy under it for the child to guess where it is etc learning to take turns placing a cup on the tower.
They are easy to store as they all fit into one another so only take up a little extra height than the largest cup alone does. The cups are very strong and i have found them easier to stack than others have been as they have a little 'lip' at the bottom which helps secure the next cup in place.
When first purchasing toys for our twin boys, Mr Lools and I felt totally overwhelmed. Walking into toy stores there were shelves of bright flashing light toys and toys that made sounds and we were totally clueless to what young babies would play with. We were very conscious that we could spend a fortune so consulted our other friends with children, all of which advised to buy some stacking cups. So off to ELC we went and purchased some ELC Stacking Cups, quite sceptical that plastic cups would keep out boys entertained.
***What Are They? ***
The ELC Stacking Cups consist of 10 plastic cups ranging from about 5cm to 10cm diameter. Each cup is about 5cm tall The cups are multi-coloured and you get a range of coloured cups (red, white, black, yellow, green, blue), with a duplication of some colours.
Each cup has a number on the base, starting from 1 being the smallest cup to number 10 being the largest cup. The cups have a raised rim on the base which allows the cups to be stacked on top of each other largest upwards. When a tower is made the tower is over 50cm tall. The cups are great to store and stack inside of each other providing they are placed inside each other starting at smallest to largest.
The cups also have about 5 small holes cut in the bottom of each cup. If you take the cups in the bath with your child you can have a lot of fun pouring water into the cups and allowing the water to trickle out through these holes.
ELC state that the Stacking Cups are suitable for babies 6 months and over. I purchased these cups when my boys were 4 months old. Although they were not able to play with the cups properly at this age they were able to hold the cups and took great delight and amusement watching me stack the cups then knock them down.
From 6 months when babies are able to sit unaided I feel that the stacking cups are a great way of keeping them amused and encouraging them to sit on their own by giving them something to focus on.
At 13 months old both my boys still play with these toys very regularly and love to try to stack the cups, put the cups inside of each other and take these cups into the bath, having just as much fun with the cups now, as they did when they were 6 months old.
The ELC stacking cups are available from ELC stores and online at www.elc.co.uk . Mothercare and Boots also stock these cups.
The cups are usually sold for £6 however ELC regularly sell these with 20% off the asking price for £4.80, which I feel is excellent value for such and amusing toy.
***Playing With Them***
Taking the ELC stacking cups out of the packaging is probably as easy as it could be when it comes to toys. You simply remove the outer cardboard box and they are ready to play with.
When taking out of the packaging the cups feel that they are a good quality and quite a durable plastic but are not excessively heavily and the plastic has a degree of flexibility to it without being flimsy. I did when giving these to my boys at 4 months take care that they were supervised as the plastic is quite hard when being wielded round uncoordinated by a 4 month old baby could cause some bruises. Although now the boys are 13 months old, I do feel that now the weight of the cups and thickness of the plastic mean they are a less "dangerous" plastic toy for them to wave around next to each other than most in our collection.
At around 4 months old all my boys were really capable of was holding the cups. By 6 to 7 months they were attempting to put the cups on top of each other and took great pleasure in banging the cups of the floor and making noise, or holding a cup in each hand and banging together. I found this really helped with their coordination and after a few weeks of play they were much more accurate when banging the cups together.
Stacking the cups into a full tower is not really possible for a child of 6 months but my boys enjoyed playing a game of knocking the tower down, which always resulted in lots of giggles and smiles when they seen and heard the tower come crashing down. The tower is quite sturdy as the rim on the base of the tower allows the cups to stack on top of each other. At 13 months old they are now attempting to build a tower themselves when given the correct cup however because of the rim on the cups it is quite difficult still for them to place the cup accurately on top of the cup below.
From around 9 months the boys really enjoyed placing cups inside of each other and this was a game they enjoyed and kept them amused for quite long period of time. I feel their fine motor skills have been aided by them lifting the cups on top or inside of each other and as they get older this is developed so they are more accurate in the movements to do this.
The stacking cups also have some educational benefits for learning colours and numbers because each cup is numbered. We are currently trying to ask our boys to pick up certain coloured cups which I think they potentially are a little too young to understand but the foundations of learning are there. As children get older you can also use the numbered cups to teach counting.
We use the stacking cups as a bath toy on a daily basis. The cups do have little holes in the bottom so water pours out adding to the fun of this being a water toy. My boys love splashing the cups in and out of the water and the cups are easy to hold for small hands even when wet. Obviously children will be constantly supervised when in the bath but it is worth ensuring your child doesn't use the cups to drink the bath water with. My boys have a habit of doing so when they think I am occupied with the other child!
I also use the cups to pour water over the boys when bathing them and rinsing shampoo from their hair. Obviously the holes in the cups make the water pour out but the larger cups hold enough water for 5 seconds or so to make this possible.
The ELC stacking cups are and excellent quality. The cups are durable enough to have withstood being thrown from high chairs, gnawed or and taken in the bath on a daily basis and still look as new as when we bought these. I do always dry the cups down every night after bath time or wiped down with a damp cloth if the boys have sticky hands whilst playing with the cups.
It is worth noting that the cups do not come in standard uniform colours for each sized cups. My mum has purchased some of these for her house and we have found that each of the numbered cups is a different colour to our numbered cups.
Although in comparison to many other baby toys in the boys' vast toy collection this is probably the most basic toy they own, it is also one of the best purchases we have made. The ELC Stacking Cups are an excellent quality stacking cup toy which are bright in colour and easy for little hands to hold. This makes stacking the cups and knocking them down lots of fun. Not to mention the colours and numbered cups have learning benefits too.
The cups stack inside of each other which makes these very easy to store and great to pop in a changing bag if you are visiting friends and want to keep your little one (or ones) amused. They also make great bath toys or bath aids in our case as we use the cups to wash our boys' hair!
My boys have had hours of fun with these stacking cups and I am sure will have many more. For £6 you can't afford not to buy these for your little one!
Would you believe that I first bought these stacking cups from the ELC almost twenty years ago, when my eldest child was a baby? That set of cups survived many years of use (and abuse) at the hands of four children and were eventually passed on to a family friend. Fast forward twenty years and when looking for stocking fillers for nine month old Freddy I couldn't help but remember how much fun my other children had had with their set and so picked up a set of beakers for £6.
For your £6 your child gets a total of ten plastic cups of graduating size, ranging from 5-10cm in diameter. Each of the cups is a different colour with some being opaque while others are translucent. The range of colours is pretty good, with cups in various shades of blue, green, purple and pink along with red and yellow. As each of the cups is a slightly different size they all nestle inside one another, which means they don't take up very much space in the toy box. The cups can also be stacked one on top of the other to make a tower, they all have rims on the base that firmly hold the next smallest in place, which makes it a little easier for your child to build the tower. When all of the cups are used to make the tower, it certainly looks impressive and at 65cm in height it will probably be a while before Freddy will be able to put the top-most cups into place.
Each of the cup is numbered on it's base, starting with one on the smallest counting up to ten on the largest, which makes it easier for us adults to nest and stack them in the right order as well as providing a way to help children recognise their numbers. All the cups are made from durable plastic that has so far survived being thrown across the room and chewed on. But I must say, they don't seem to be quite as well made as the ones I bought twenty years ago. I do remember the plastic on my last set being slightly thicker and tougher, I'm not sure these would withstand a three year trying to use them as stilts in quite the same way as the older style did. I will say though that they are extremely well finished, with all the edges being smooth and rounded.
Being made of plastic they are extremely easy to clean, I simply wash them with the rest of the washing up. There's nothing on the packaging to state whether they are dishwasher safe, and not having a dishwasher, I've never tried it.
==Playing With The Cups==
When I first gave these cups to Freddy to play with, I actually only gave him the five smallest whilst he was sitting in his highchair. After examining them very closely, he found they made a great noise when banged together. He then spent a good ten minutes banging them together and against his tray before discovering that he could put one inside the other. And that's now his favourite way of playing on his own with these, he'll spend ages just seeing which cup will fit in which, with a big grin of triumph on his face when he manages to fit on inside the other.
When we're playing together, I'll build a tower while Freddy tries to knock it down. It's a bit of a race really, how high can Mummy build the tower before Freddy knocks it down. And then there's always fits of giggles as the cups go flying across the room. I find these cups a great motivator in getting Freddy to move around the room, as although he has fantastic fine motor skills, he's a little behind as far as gross motor skills go (crawling, etc.). By building the tower out of his reach, I've been steadily encouraging him to improve his crawling.
We also take some of the beakers into the bath for water play. They're great for pouring water from, although there is a small hole in the bottom each of them meaning that the water does drip out adding an extra dimension to water play. Although the weather hasn't really been suitable to test these out in the sand table, I can tell you that the older style were brilliant for making sandcastles and I don't see any reason why these wouldn't be the same.
Although Freddy is too young just yet for role play, I'm sure at some these will also be commandeered for spare cups at teddy bear tea parties. I know that the previous set was, with the different sized cups being matched up to the appropriate sized teddies and dolls. They were also used as makeshift pots and pans for cooking up pretend meals. These really are proof that sometimes it's the simplest toys that can be the most versatile.
==Learning Through Fun==
Billed as being suitable for babies from six months of age, coming from The Early Learning Centre, as well as being fun, these cups are fantastic for encouraging your baby's development. Although the ELC, states that they will encourage hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills, I think that they are selling these cups short a bit there. Yes they do encourage hand-eye coordination as the baby/child learns to stack them and then nest them together again. And yes they do encourage children to problem solve as they learn to work out which order they go in, but they do so much more too.
Firstly as well as the fine motors skills necessary to build the cups into a tower, these cups will help your child develop their gross motors skills as they move to get to any tower you've built and then knock it over. They can also be used to help teach colour recognition, counting and number recognition along with the concepts of bigger and smaller. Finally they encourage imaginative play, with their uses literally being limited by your child's imagination. I've seen these cups used as pots and pans, cups and even a space rocket when built into a tower.
The Early Learning Centre Stacking Cups is an excellent, durable and versatile toy that is an essential for any baby's toy box. £6 may seem a high price to pay for what is essentially little more than a set of plastic cups, but believe me it's money well spent. The cups are so versatile and durable that you'll find that the same cups your six month old baby was banging together are being played with in the sandpit when that baby is six or even older. So think of that £6 as an investment that will still be paying dividends for years to come. There are cheaper versions of these cups available from other retailers, but to be honest from what I've seen these cheaper cups aren't quite as well made or finished and I wouldn't be quite as confident that they would last as long. And so I'm giving the ELC Stacking Cups an almighty five stars out of five and recommending them to all parents of babies six months old and over.
So many toys these days seem to be electronic, computerised, battery operated and seem to all have some form of buttons to press but sometimes a simple toy can be more enjoyable to a child so I bought my daughter a set of stacking cups from the Early Learning Centre.
What are stacking cups? They are simply ten cups made out of pretty tough plastic which have various ways of being played with. Each cup is numbered from one to ten, with one being on the smallest cup and the numbers go up in order of the size of cup with ten being the largest cup. All the cups fit inside a larger one so eventually you will have nine cups inside the tenth which makes for easy storage. With the cups being different shaped it teaches your child shapes and sizes.
As I said, the cups can be placed inside the next size cup up, or alternatively they can be stacked on top of eachother (hence the name) to make a tall tower of cups! The cups all have a rim to make it easier for the child to stack them up as the rim makes it more stable. The cups can be stacked up into a tower and then knocked down which can be great fun!
Each cup is a different colour, there is yellow, orange, blue, green, red, pink and purple, and the number on the base is the same colour but raised so it is easier to see. The cups also have small holes in the bottom which makes them suitable for water and sand play.
I think these stacking cups are an excellent toy to have, they can be used in many different ways. We have played stacking them into a tower, playing number games with them in which my daughter would put them in number order, played with them in the sand pit and water table, and even as far as she would use them with her kitchen and pretend to make me a brew in them!! When we have played the tower game, it used to absolutely terrify my little girl when they were knocked over and to an extent it put her off playing with them really.
There is a good educational side to this toy
* children learn hand to eye co-ordination - when stacking the cups up
* problem solving - when stacking the cups up and when putting them away
* counting - both counting the cups and using the numbers on the base to learn counting
* colours - learning the different colours of the cups
The recommended age for these cups is from six months up to eighteen months, now I agree with the six months but I think an older child can still get enjoyment out of them. The ELC stacking cups are sold for £6.00 which I personally think is a good price as it is a really good toy. The cups are extremely easy to clean as they are plastic and I have found that being rinsed with soapy water does the trick brilliantly.
At almost three years old my daughter seems to have rediscovered her love of this toy and will get it out of her toybox quite regularly now, and she will finally play the tower game without being scared!! To have had over two years use out of these cups is fantastic in my opinion and I really can't fault them in any way.
I will happily recommend the stacking cups as they are just great!
Thank you for reading my review :)
In my opinion stacking cups are one of the best first toys a baby can have. They have multiple uses and teach so many different things. I chose the Early Learning Centre Cups as they came in nice bright colours and looked good quality plastic - I was expecting my daughter to chew and put in her mouth so wanted something strong.
Obviously they are meant to help teach your baby to stack the cups on top of eachother. But there are so many other things you can do with them. I used them to teach colours by asking my daughter to find me the 'yellow' cup etc.
They also had numbers on them so were great for teaching 1-10 again in the same way " can you pass me number 3" etc.
Building a tower is fun but letting them knock it down seems to have far more appeal!
We also played with them in the bath - teaching how to pour water from one cup to another, even balancing them on their heads. Like Early Learning Centre states these cups are geat for a babys imagination.
These cups now cost £6 which is a very good price for the amount of play you will get from them. Once they grow older rather than throw out use them in the sandpit to make castles - the adventurous can attempt stacking sandcastles!!
I highly recommend these as a first toy.
I was told that every baby should have some stacking pots as they are an awesome toy which will last around 2 years and are supposedly educational!
Where do I get them?
The Early Learning Centre or online sells this set of 10 stacking cups for a monstrous £8 if you buy them full price. Luckily in my local store they were selling the pastel version for £3.
WHat are they made of?
Plastic which is very safe for kids to chew and use. They are free of any nasty chemicals and meet all the safety standards required for childrens toys within the UK.
What colours did they come in?
Well they come in what is nominally a "boys version" which is primary colours, bright reds, yellows and blues.
Also a pastel version which I guess is meant to be the "girls version" pinks, yellows, purple and white.
BUT since only the pastel ones were on sale for £3 I decided to be all equal opportunities and buy these for my son.
What age are they suitable for?
Well the blurb says from 6 months but my son has been playing with his since he was 4 months old.
Admittedly all he could do at first was perhaps grab them and chew them but he certainly seemed to enjoy doing this!
Now he is nearly 6 months he can pick them up, bash himself on the head with them (in fact bash anything in his radius with them). If I put some of them together he has great fun knocking them down. Of course he still chews them and has been known to throw up in them on occasion (nice!)
At some stage he will be able to play with them based on colour / number (they are marked 1 - 10 in order of size) and I will be extremely proud when he can build his own tower to knock down.
Would I recommend?
Yes these are a great toy, with many uses (from building a tower to throwing up into). They are safe to use with no sharp edges or bits that could be swallowed. They are great for familiarisation with numbers and colours and for building motor skills.
I would not pay £8 for these so as it is stupidly expensive - find them on sale instead.
These 10 classic stacking cups now each have a number on them. Great for nesting or stacking.