Stacking Objects

A toddler stacks plates and glasses.
A toddler stacks plates and glasses.

Stacking of objects is another key element to constructive play. Around the age of 12 to 15 months children begin to imitate an adult who is stacking objects. Although children without disabilities frequently start by stacking blocks, these objects can lack inspiration for a child with visual impairments. Blocks may also be too physically challenging for a child with cerebral palsy to hold. Try to introduce items for stacking that provide auditory or tactile inspiration. At first, the adult will do all of the stacking, and the child will knock the tower down. Eventually the child may attempt to place one item on top of another. Cups and saucers make great stacking blocks, especially when used on a resonance board.

Dureyea Stacking Plates and Cups

Notice how Dureyea motions for Sharlene to do most of the stacking, and Dureyea is knocking the tower down. Dureyea’s stacking skills are still emerging. A child without disabilities may learn to stack blocks or plates and cups in just a few hours. But a child with multiple special needs may require years to learn such a skill. To keep a child’s interest, you may need to substitute new materials for the plates and cups. The only limitation is your imagination.


Trevor Stacking Large Foam Blocks

While Trevor understands this game requires placing the blocks on top of one another, his ability to motor plan and understand what will happen if certain shaped blocks are used is still a skill to be further developed.


Trevor Stacking Magnetos

Notice how intently Trevor observes Patty stacking the magnetos before attempting to stack them himself. Magnetos are another alternative to blocks, as they provide different auditory, tactile, and proprioceptive feedback. They also do not tip over as easily, allowing Trevor to be more successful with stacking. This activity provides an opportunity for Trevor to problem solve which end of the magnet he should use in order to successfully stack them on top of each other.


Stacking Objects pin for Pinterest shows a boy stacking large foam blocks.