Pros: Versatile, Colorful, Proportional
A few months back, I wrote a review on Stack Up Cups. My mother had bought that set of cups for my son, and they were a major hit. Not long after that, my Discovery Toys consultant recommended a set of cups manufactured by her company. Since I already had the previously mentioned set, I initially let the suggestion go in one ear and out the other. Then she told me a little more about the cups, and I was sold. What was so special about a set of 12 plastic cups? You'll have to read on to find out!
Cups? You've Got to Be Kidding!
Does it seem like a set of cups is pretty boring? Yes, that's what I once thought myself. I was very surprised to see my son's reaction to them, and now I can't imagine being without them. They're a sure hit and keep my son busier than most of his other toys.
There are actually many, many uses for cup sets like these. My son and I initially used them for stacking. I'd build a tower, stacking one cup on another, and he'd knock it down. Babies love that game, and it seemed that he'd never tire of knocking down just one more tower. When we went on vacation, this toy came with us. My son's cousins built tower after tower for him, delighting as he took his first wobbly steps toward them and their creation. Now, at 15 months, my little guy is starting to build towers for himself.
We've also used our cups for nesting. They are made to fit perfectly within each other, and my son and I make a game of it. I try to put them back together, while he eagerly tries to take them apart! He is now also learning to put cups inside of cups. Though I can't say that he always does it correctly (sometimes he still tries to put the bigger cup inside the smaller one), he's definitely learning about space relations.
In the summer months, this set of cups has become absolutely invaluable. We use it constantly in the pool and in the sand box, filling cups and then spilling them out again. When my son tires of that, he'll just bang them together. It seems like there's always something else you can do with them!
There aren't really many negatives related to this product. My son loves his Measure Up! Cups, and I am 100% happy with them. In the interest of writing a balanced review, however, I will point out a couple of things that could be perceived as negatives.
First and foremost is the price. These are plastic cups, and Discovery Toys charges $10.99 for them. Wow! Will they wash my car for me?
If you are looking for a lot of color variation, this is not the set for you. Though the colors are bold and attractive, they consist of only four: blue, green, red, and yellow. Our other, cheaper set includes a rainbow of colors, and that makes it a nice change from the Discovery Toys version.
Finally, these cups are made of plastic that is just a bit harder than the plastic used in our other set. Why is this a big deal? Well, my son likes to put everything in his mouth. He's been known to hold a stacking cup in his mouth just by the rim. I'd have to say that these are just not as "teethable" as we'd like them to be.
Now Why on Earth Would I Pay $10.99 For These?
Good question. These cups are pricey, especially when you consider that you can buy other sets of cups for less than half the price. So what's the big deal about these? Well, there are a few things that do make them worth the price.
One minor detail that makes these cups a good buy is the color scheme. Yes, I know I just pointed out that there are only four colors, but in some ways that is actually a plus. Having only yellow, green, red, and blue makes it easier to use these cups for sorting later on, and believe it or not, it actually makes it easier to put the cups together. When my two young nieces, ages 7 and 9, were playing with my son, they quickly learned to build their towers by depending on color. If they needed a red and it wasn't there, they knew they had to start checking under the couch!
Another small feature that I like is the sheer number of cups. While our others set only includes eight, Discovery Toys has produced Measure Up! Cups as a set of twelve. This results in taller towers, which my son absolutely loves!
A more impressive selling point is the fact that these cups can be used as stampers. Each cup has a different design on the bottom, and as your child gets older these cups can be used to make designs in the sand or even to press designs into cookies! The pictures include a butterfly, mouse, rabbit, duck, cat, dog, seal, lion, walrus, hippopotamus, elephant, and whale. Though they are just simple sketches, this is a nice feature that our other cups do not have.
The most important difference between our Measure Up! Cups and our other set is the unique Discovery Toys design. My consultant was quick to inform me that these cups are the only ones on the market that are actually "volumetrically correct." In other words, if you fill cup number 1 and cup number 2 with water, they will fill cup number 3 exactly. This feature allows for some early excursions in math that are fun and hands-on. Discovery Toys even includes a little booklet with the cups that suggests different uses for them, including using them for simple math equations.
Measure Up? You Bet They Do!
Despite the price, I highly recommend these cups. I just couldn't pass up the added features that make them unique from their competitors, especially the fact that they are designed to teach problem solving. If you can only buy one set of cups, I'd strongly consider checking out Measure Up! Cups!