Learning Activities

Colored Cups and Jingle Bells

My tot and I needed a quick and fun activity this morning. I knew I wanted to use our jingle bells and work on colors. I ran down to the preschool room and grabbed my little colored cups. (We use these babies ALL THE TIME!) You can get your own and a baggy of counting bears HERE. You can use any colored container though. Stacking cups, drink cups or colored children bowls.


Game 1

First I set up the cups in a row and hid 4 bells under 4 cups. I then asked my daughter if there was a bell hiding under the blue cup? She would flip it over and screech if there was and let out a sad ‘awww’ if she didn’t find a bell. I would ask her what color cup she had and she would tell me.

Even if you don’t have a good talker yet simply announcing the color and helping your little one choose the right color is an awesome learning activity.


This game kept us giggling and happy for a while. I would switch up the bells. Sometimes I’d only hide one or two bells. Next I’d hide ALL 5 bells under one cup.

Game 2

I would pick two colored cups and place a bell in one of the cups. Then I would hold the cups a little above eye level of my daughter and ask her which one was hiding the bell. I would ask her to use the color name and not just point.

After she chose a cup I would shake it and if it jingled she had chosen right. This adds a fun sensory experience to the game.


Game 3

For this game we would put all the bells into one cup that my daughter chose. Then I would call out the next color she needed to pour the bells into. “Quick, pour the bells into the blue cup!” After she did that I would announce the next color.

I pretended like we needed to be fast with this one. We would get kinda sill after a couple pours and all the bells would end up on the floor. Be silly with your little one and you’ll be surprised how much longer the game will last. (My 5 year old LOVED this one. We would switch and she would call out the colors. I would ‘mess up’ and see if she would catch my mistake)

Game 4

Simply to keep the play and learning going we added an airplane to the mix. The plane had to make deliveries to the right colored cup. My 2 year old really like this. It was a good challenge, the bells didn’t always fall out straight and she would scramble to find them all.

You could easily use a truck or car or other beloved toy to carry the bells.

Remember through all this play you are asking questions about what color of cup the bells are in. Repetition, repetition, repetition.


Game 5

This one is a little better suited for a bit older, or maybe just a child who has a bit of aim in their toss. My 5 year old decided she would make up a game. She declared that we would toss a bell into a colored cup that the other person called out.

We made up a little score sheet, a point for every on you got into the right up and a negative point if you got it into the wrong cup. We had a lot of fun tossing and adding and yelling colors at one another. Sorry no picture for this one, the baby demanded she be held so I was out of hands.


Like most activities this is easily tweaked to work on letters or numbers.

  • For my older girl I could put a piece of tape or a circle sticker onto the bottom of the cup and write down 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Or you could do 20, 30 , 40 ,50 and 60.
  • For letters I could write down some of the tricky lower case letters that are still confusing. Examples would be b, d, q, and p.

You could play all the same games by simply drawing attention to the letter or number rather than the color.

Just remember you always draw attention to the skill you are working on by repeating it over and over and asking your child which one she has chosen or has in her hand.

What skill will you work on?


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