Know what happens when you (me) don't give a child enough credit? You (me) spend 30 minutes (that was all the time I had before we went on to the next activity) looking into every conceivable place you (me) think she could have hidden nesting cups 1 to 4 and still not find them.
Let me set the stage for you:
Normally we don't let the children take toys from one play area to another so we don't have to spend a lot of time finding all the pieces. I take responsibility for this because I was the one who let her take the nesting cups from the block area to the kitchen area. Sometimes you (me) just gotta forget the rules and go with the moment. Anyway...
We are playing in the kitchen and she gets to the point where she doesn't need me to play with her (there are other staff around) so I go and play with another student. About 10 minutes later I look back at the kitchen and realize she's done playing and since I was the one who pulled out most of the play food I go back and start to put the bulk of it away and have her help me with the rest of it. We are working on self help skills and she's not going to learn if I do it all. It's at this point I realize that four of the ten nesting cups are missing.
The search begins!
We (the adults) start an all out classroom search for those darn cups to no avail. It wasn't until 2 hours later that I figured out that those rotten cups were hiding in plain sight.
In a box like this
I remembered she was trying to stuff one of the bigger nesting cups in the box, that's when I realized she had started from the smallest cup and was working her way up to the biggest . Just so I know, you know exactly what a goober I am the box was sitting on the table the entire two hours and not once did I touch it!!!!!!!!
BTW - At school we average a box that size in two weeks! That's 2 pounds of goldfish.