Cup Towers

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In this activity, learners explore different ways to stack cups to meet a personal goal. They might want to make a tower taller than themselves, they might want to make a wall, they might practice removing cups from a tower without having it fall, whatever they imagine! The activity includes a time and age recommendation, a materials list, step-by-step set up instructions, recommendations for things to try and to notice, tips for adults, learning and skills connections, and a note about doing STEAM with kids. Paper or plastic cups are recommended for this activity. Some hard plastics can shatter - so try to stay away from those. The more cups, the better!

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Cups (paper or plastic)
  • Optional: Items from the recycle bin
  • Optional: Small toys of figurines
  • Optional: Popsicle sticks
  • Optional: Index cards or thick paper


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces

Informal Categories

  • Games
  • Model Building


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Boston Children's Museum, 2021