Cognitive/Motor Activity: Stacking Rings

Age: 6 months+

Goal: To develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and a sense of order.

Materials: mat (Make sure you’re mat is big enough to line the rings on side by side. Mine obviously isn’t. 🙂 ) , stacking rings or blocks on a dowel (or like object)

Stacking Rings

Stacking Rings


  1. Prepare the work and get out the mat.
  2. With the stacking rings on the dowel, place on the mat with the child sitting opposite you. The child should be facing the rings.
  3. Purposefully take off the first ring and examine it. Look through the ring, put your fingers through, exaggerate your movements so that hte child understands there is a whole in the ring. Then place the ring on the far right side of the mat.
  4. Repeat Step 3 with each ring.
  5. Once all the rings are laying on the mat from biggest to smallest (left to right), starting with the largest ring begin to put the rings back on the dowel. Again, take your time and be purposeful in your movements.

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    Step 5

  6. Show the child that there is a correct order for the rings. After placing the first two rings on the dowel, skip to the fourth ring and try to put it on. The ring will fit, but there will be a space between the second and third rings. Take off the ring and put the rings on in the correct order.

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    Control of Error

  7. Once you have completed the activity, invite the child to do the activity.
  8. When the child is finished with the activity, take him/her with you to return the work and mat to its proper place.

3 comments… add one

  • Lara September 7, 2011, 4:33 pm


    Do I place the rings from right to left on my side or infront of the child ?

    When I finish the demonstration, do I put my child on my side or do I put the toy closer to him ?

    What do I do if the child, during the demonstration, wants to take the rings ?

    How do I put the toy back to its place on a shelf, if the child cannot walk yet ? Do I take the child in my arms ?

    I would love if you could asnwer me. This questions are bothering me for some time now.


  • Jessica K April 10, 2012, 5:04 pm

    If she grabs for the rings or dowel while I am doing the demonstration phase, do I allow her to take them or should I place them back on the mat?

  • karina September 17, 2014, 3:36 am

    This kind of things are what I’ve been looking for, thanks.

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