April 23

Using Stacking Cups to Build Speech & Language Skills

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I bought these stacking cups for my oldest daughter for her first birthday back in 2015. Now that she is five and a half and little sister is three and a half, I thought maybe it was time to donate the toy. After all, it was tucked away in a toy bin and the girls hadn't played with it in a while.

As I went to put it into the donate pile, I thought maybe I could use it in speech therapy with my young preschool kids. With all of the different colors and the different ways it comes apart and snaps together, I just could not part with it. I knew I could target tons of goals so I placed the toy in my therapy bag.

And wouldn't you know, these stacking cups were a HUGE HIT with my kids! And even my youngest daughter found them in my bag and started playing with them again! This simple toy is not just a baby toy; you can get lots of use out of it in your sessions! Read on to see how I used it in my sessions!

BASIC CONCEPTS

So many basic concepts to target! I like to use them to work on size, color, and negation concepts.

-Stack the cups and make big mountains and little mountains
-Bring out toy animals and have them climb up and down the big/tall/little short mountains
-Flip the cups over to make pools and have the animals swim in the different color pools
-Break apart the cups and ask the child, "Give me the cup that is not ____ (big, purple, little, etc.)

PREPOSITIONS

This is such an easy toy to target preposition goals!

-Stack the cups on, take the cups off.
-Put the animals on top/in/under the cups.

VERBS

Need to target verbs? No problem!

-Climb mountain
-Jump in the pool
-Swim in the pool
-Splash the water
-Snap the cups into balls and then roll them back and forth

FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS

I'm always working on following directions with my kiddos! This is an easy way to sneak it in!

-Tell the child to hide an animal under a certain cup (Hide the cow under the orange cup)
-You can increase the number of steps depending on the child's ability (Hide the cow under the orange cup and then give me the blue cup, etc.).

ASKING/ANSWERING WH QUESTIONS

If you do pair the cups with animals or little dolls or figurines, you can totally target WH-questions!

-Ask the child, "Who is in the blue pool?" "Who climbed up the mountain?"
-Hide the animals under the cups and ask, "Where is pig?", etc.

I have literally used these stacking cups for entire 30 minute sessions with young preschoolers. I am so glad that I did not donate it and that I decided to hang onto it! And now my daughter has something "new" to play with!

Have you used stacking cups in speech?! I'd love to hear!


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