Stacking the Cat’s Hats

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd, we decided to try some fun STEM activities related to his fabulous books!  This particular activity is based on his beloved character, The Cat in the Hat!  All you need are some red cups and paper and you are set!  It’s a great, simple engineering challenge at any time, actually.  Whenever you do it, this is easy to set up and challenging for all ages!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Red cups  for the “hats” (I used the plastic red shot glasses for little hands but you can use any size)
  • Cut pieces of white paper to make the hat bottoms
  • Scissors

Here are ideas for the challenge:

  • How high can you stack the Cat’s hats?
  • Can you build a house? A farm? A thingamajigger?
  • Can you build a structure as tall as you?

So easy to set up!  Just give your little ones a pile of cups and let them start stacking!

So many different types of structures!

And the best part?  When they fall over!  (Or get knocked over!) So much fun when they come crashing down!

Extension: If you’d like to make them look more like the Cat’s hats, have the kids paint white stripes or stick strips of white paper on the cups the day before the challenge.

Finish off the activity by reading Dr. Seuss’s book, “Cat in the Hat”.

For more Dr. Seuss STEM, try the following:

Science Behind the Activity:

This is a simple STEM activity that encourages creative thinking and problem solving to figure out how to best stack the cups or creative ways to stack the cups.   And early math skills for the youngest tots can be enforced by counting the cups as they are stacked (or fall!)  Best of all, it encourages teamwork and working together.

To see where I got my idea from and for more details, follow the link below:



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