Monday, January 14, 2013


I couldn’t sleep at all last night.  Just a thinking about cups…
Did you think I was going to stop with educational activities with plastic cups?  No way!  Check out these ideas!

Building Cups – Put out cups and paper plates for the children as a construction project.  Don’t tell them what to do or give them any directions and you’ll be surprised at what they come up with!  Talk about 21st Century skills!  Collaboration, communication, problem solving, and creativity at its finest!
This would be a great project for two children or a group of four.  Give them a set time and then let each group report on what they created.

Help Me!  Give each child a red and green cup to keep in their desk.  When they are doing independent work have them place the cups on their desk with the green on top.  Green means they are good to GO!  If they need help they put the red cup on top to indicate, “Please STOP and help me.”
Classroom Management – You’ll need a red, green, and yellow cup for this activity.  Stack the red, yellow, and green cups in that order and place them in the middle of a table where students sit.  If the group gets loud, remove the green cup and the yellow will be a warning to calm down.  If the noise continues remove the yellow cup and they must stop all talking.
Note!  I didn’t think of this.  There are several variations of it on the internet. 

Dippers and Fillers – This is a popular management system that many schools use.  When children are unkind or say something hurtful they are “dippers.”  When they are kind they are “fillers.”  Punch holes in the sides of a cup and tie on a string or pipe cleaner so children can hang them on their chairs or a bulletin board.  The teacher or friends can put a token in their cup to thank them for being a “filler.”
Storage – Plastic cups can be used for organizing art materials, pencils, and other supplies. 

*How about a cup for “Lost and Found Crayons” or “Lost and Found Pencils”?

*Store brain tickets or other coupons in cups.

Lucky Sticks – Let each child decorate a craft stick with her name.  Place the sticks in a cup labeled “lucky sticks.”  When you have a special job to be done pull a stick from the cup.  That’s the “lucky” winner.  Put their stick in your desk after they’ve had a turn and when all the sticks are in your desk put them back in the cup and start all over.
Touch and Tell – Insert a cup in a sock.  Put an unusual item down in the cup.  Children reach in the sock and try to identify the object by touch. 
*Make several of these and number each one.  Have children draw a picture or write a sentence about each object.

Hairy Creatures – Let children draw silly faces on small bathroom cups.  Fill the cups with soil and sprinkle grass seed on the top.  Water, set in the sun, and before long you’ll have a hairy creature!