The Best $3 Travel Toy Ever: Ikea Stacking Cups

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ikea cupsBy Eileen Gunn

I was in Ikea the other day and was excited to see these stacking cups make their return. They’d disappeared for a while, at least from our Brooklyn outlet.

They cost $2.95 or so. After clinging to our set for 3 or 4 years now I can tell you they were absolutely a best-three-bucks-you’ll-ever-spend type of purchase.

Stacked together, they’re exactly 3-inches squared. They slip easily into a diaper bag if you use one, or your shoulder bag or your kid’s backpack.

We’ve used them as sand toys when we came across a playground sandbox (or beach) unexpectedly. They’ve been equally good bath toys when we needed a few in a hotel room. A few have small holes in the bottom and 1 is a sieve.

They’ve kept Tiny Traveler unbelievably busy in the back seat of the car. She’s used them to sort and count odds and ends (including snack mixes, when the cups are clean). She also used them to “cook,” “bake,” and “make” coffee and tea for mom and dad.

I highly recommend picking up a set before heading off on your next car trip.

ikea cups 2

What’s the most handy under-$5 item you’ve bought for family travel?

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3 Responses

  1. We have a set too! I also love ColorWonder (though it’s pricey!) for the car or plane. Don’t worry anymore about losing crayons in seat cracks, down the aisle, etc and if this only comes out for trips it’s even more exciting since it’s a “only-sometime” toy. We also bring puzzles in zip locks – we have a voracious puzzler – a good idea for mom & dad with a glass of wine if you want to do something fun while the little one sleeps. :-)

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  2. I can see them being used for all kinds of activities. At $2.95 for 6 buckets, it’s a great buy for sure!

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  3. Can see how these could be both useful and fun when traveling with kids.

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