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DIY Stacking rings

What you need

  • Cardboard tubes e.g. toilet paper rolls or kitchen rolls 
  • Stick/tube for stacking onto
  • Scissors


Fine motor skills will be developed alongside hand-eye coordination, as your child picks up the rings and stacks them. Stacking and exploring different shaped objects is all part of your child developing an understanding of shape and size. It also helps develop their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

The experience

You can easily create your own DIY stacking rings that can be used over and over again. Your child may already have wooden or plastic stacking ring toys, but you can create these to suit different needs and abilities. 

You will need several cardboard tubes to be cut into pieces, providing different sized stacking rings. The older your child, the more able they will be to pick up thinner, smaller objects, so you can use their age and developmental level to help determine how thick or thin to cut your rings. 

You can also cut some circular pieces of cardboard, creating a small hole in the centre, just big enough to go over the stick or tube you are posting on to.

You can use a strong cardboard tube such as one that comes in the centre of a roll of foil, or perhaps a stick from the garden – this would be a great activity to do outdoors, with a stick stuck into the ground. If using on the floor or a table surface, you may need to use sticky tape or tack to secure the stick. 

Let your child explore the different sized rings and shapes with holes and see if they can stack them all onto the stick. Model to your child how they can use the rings and put them onto the stick. Let them explore them in different ways. Just picking up and holding and feeling different shaped objects is valuable learning. 

Older children could be challenged to see how quickly they can place all the rings on the stick or take them off again. You could race against each other!