Motherhood

French Drinking Glasses

French Drinking Glasses

At one and a half, my son Jasper drinks water with A LOT of flair. He makes a cartoony gulping sound as he swallows, followed by a satisfied “Ahhhhh,” before he slaps his cup back on the table and wipes his mouth on the back of his hand. All of this was adorable when he used indestructible sippy cups, but lately he only wants to drink out of a real glass. Every time, I worry it will shatter.

Thankfully, I recently learned an age-old trick of French parents (and French bistros): Picardie glasses. Their faceted shape is easy for little hands to hold, and the tempered glass is five times stronger than regular glass. Even if they do break, there are no sharp edges; the pieces apparently look like round marbles! Despite extremely rough treatment, we haven’t destroyed one yet.

Have you heard of these? Do you use them?

P.S. Toddlers in the kitchen, and how to get kids to eat vegetables.

(Photo by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Bridget Henry says...

    Love these little glasses :)
    What size is best for 6-12 months?
    The 3/4 ounce?

    Thank you!
    Bridget

  2. yes yes yes!! We live in our Airstream trailer traveling the states. These are the only things that have even survived the bumpy roads to and from Alaska. Love them!!

  3. Yes! These are the best! It’s gotta be a result of marketing that we’re obsessed with sippy cups in the U.S., because all doctors recommend switching to a regular cup by age 1. Yet restaurants routinely bring plastic sippy cups to kids until they’re 10! I wish more places would have glasses like this. Often when I ask for a glass for my 3 year old, they bring her a pint glass or something else tall. It’s physics, people, kids are short! Give them a shorter glass! :)

  4. OH how I would have loved these when the girls were smaller. Annika stopped drinking out of slippy cups at 6 months old when we went to visit family for the first time in Florida. She saw what the entire family was drinking out of and that was the end of baby or toddler cups! She always wanted real glasses. Sometime around 2 we went through about 3 weeks of breaking a glass a day. After that she was done. Rarely had a mishap. Gemma our second was the same but not as drastic. Now at 7 and 3 we’re pretty much past the accident phase and both know how delicate glass is and are careful. In fact, both hate when they’re given plastic cups in restaurants. And ADORE places that give them wine glasses for water….and I do to!

  5. Barbara says...

    We use these and theyre great! But there is a glass that works even better.. The smallest sized German brand “Weck jar” is perfectly shaped for baby/toddler hands!

  6. I’ve used French “duralex” picardie glasses for twenty years, since my kids were babies. I think 2 or 3 have broken in that span of time. I used to pick them up in thrift stores, but I’ve also bought them in import stores such as Cost Plus, and fancy kitchen supply stores. They are great, and inexpensive, and classic. We recently gave away all of our wine glasses because my husband and I prefer to drink wine out of short picardie glasses, cafe style.

  7. Woah, we totally need these! Slightly embarrassing now that I see everyone’s toddlers use these–my two boys still have plastic tupperware-like cups. Partially because I’ve just never thought to update, also because I divided the colors so no one confuses who’s drink it is (cool colors are Milo’s, warm colors are Mason’s).

    But, I have been thinking for a while to upgrade them to glasses. These would be perfect, not so much because they spill frequently, but more because they tend to bump ours against things when loading/unloading the dishwasher…leading to regularly broken glasses.

    http://eemmllee.wordpress.com

  8. Meg says...

    We have these and they’re perfect for our independent toddler! He’s chucked them on the floor a number of times and they just make a loud noise and bounce on our hard dining room floor. Thankfully, we haven’t had one shatter yet. I love how proud he looks when he drinks from one of these sweet glasses!

  9. Katja says...

    I’ve found a very clever design idea seven years ago in the design museum in Eindhoven and it turns out they still make it today. It’s a carafe with a duralex glass neck. It’s great because you can easily carry a full carafe of water or lemonade along with six glasses to the table.
    http://www.royalvkb.com/productdet.asp?catid=1152

    I must say I really enjoy following your blog. Always full of interesting topics. Greetings from Slovenia.

  10. Once, one of these dropped from its above-counter cabinet all the way to my tile floor–it survived! Nothing else has ever made that journey unharmed!

  11. I have to order these right now – my 20-month-old only wants to drink out of my glass and I know we’re in for a shattering soon!

  12. MarionVerra says...

    I’m french and I do confirm !
    we use them, since primary school to very trendy restaurant, they’re really strong and still nice on a table. The little story about it: there is always a little number at the bottom of the glass, when we were at school “cantine” the youngest (by the number on the glass) was the one serving the food to all his/her table !
    we still do the “which number in your glass?” thing in France where we are adults actually :)

    best,
    Marion from Paris

  13. Michele says...

    LOVE Duralex glasses! Ok, here’s a game all French kids play at the canteen (cafeteria) with these glasses. Everyone look at the bottom your glass and read the number you see. Whoever has the highest number, wins. It’s a fav with my 3rd grader.

  14. maryline says...

    Hi from France ! It’s true that these glasses with their so lovely vintage style are great for toddlers because the size and grip fits their little hands… Fun fact : when I was a kid we had these glasses at schools lunch room and so has my daughter now… A good proof of their efficiency right ?!

  15. Rebekka says...

    I love the picardie glasses and my daughter uses them regularly, she’s 16 months. xox Rebekka from Germany

  16. I read you from Paris (France) since a long time now. And of course, the Duralex glasses (Picardie is just one line of design) are well known here… We used to have them in the eating rooms at schools and I have some at my place. They are nearly undestructible, even on tiles! I know because they fall very often.

  17. Ah lovely sippy cup. Definitely look a lot “healthier” than plastic ones although I don’t have any concrete info to support that ;)

  18. Cassandra says...

    Duralex has a massive warehouse sale each year in Delaware (benefiting Meals On Wheels Delaware)!! You can get these glasses and so much more at amazing prices – great for holiday gifts or #treatyoself =) http://mealsonwheelsde.org/2015/05/stock-up-for-seniors-3/

  19. We use glass canning jars from weck- the little jam ones. I never really worried about my son breaking things- we just used what we had and I figured it was better than plastic and he has learned to drink from cups without sippy lids without a problem. I think we only broke one- and it just chipped.

  20. Those glasses are so cute but we have found water cups that we all really like. When my child was about a year and a half we ditched her sippy cup and bought stainless steel cups for the three of us. Perfect sized for little hands and unbreakable. We had used them for water at this nice tea lounge and loved them. Its been a couple of years later and really am so happy with the purchase.

  21. lindsay marie says...

    when we got married, I registered and got very similar ones from William Sonoma. Its true, when i finally did break one, they were just soft edged chunks, it was great! I might get the smaller sizes for my toddler though, thanks!

  22. samara says...

    we have had both the ikea and crate and barrel version, large and small…ikea still standing, 8 yrs later…our son is 5 and only ever used them from 16 months on…

    • Trina says...

      Hi – which IKEA ones do you have? Very curious as I would love to have everyone using glass. Thanks!!

  23. Sheila says...

    We’ve had a set of these for over 30 years! I worked at Williams Sonoma after we were married and in that time only 1 has broken. I’ve bought larger glasses that are a different style from Target or Marshalls that haven’t held up at all so I recommend these highly!

  24. Kristin says...

    My three year old also loves drinking from these. They also make a pitcher that adds to the fun.

  25. susan says...

    We have three different sizes of this brand, all purchased from Williams Sonoma. They’re wonderful! We’ve only had one weirdly shatter, they wash up well in the dishwasher, and are truly great for hands of all sizes. I’m not sure when/if I’ll ever get something else!

  26. Sarah says...

    This is hilarious – our family just got back from vacation. We stayed at an airbnb that had these very glasses, and my husband and I complained about them constantly because my 3-year-old dropped/spilled/knocked over these glasses more than any others he has ever used! Our favorites are still the Bonne Maman jars, FWIW. To each their own :) Maybe he’s clumsier than your kid!

  27. HAND WASH! unless you want them to get cloudy. Even though they say dishwasher safe. Dissappointed with mine that are not pretty and clear anymore.

  28. Yes! They are the best, as are the duralex bowls and plates. I believe they are better for the kids health and for the environment than plastic as well.

  29. Emalee says...

    Funnily enough, I was drinking wine out of these exact glasses while reading this post. My 3 and 5 year olds love drinking out of these “grown up glasses.” Once we rid our house of sippy cups, the kids seemed to calibrate their need for carefulness and have rarely had spills since.

  30. Rebecca says...

    My toddler uses these all day, every day (and then I use them to drink wine when he goes to bed). Haven’t had one break yet, despite plenty of abuse, so I can’t speak to that issue. One tip that’s probably obvious: the wide mouth means that you probably don’t want to fill them all the way up for the little ones – with that in mind, the 8 oz. size works for us.

  31. I just posted about these on my own blog, as we’re in desperate need of new drinking glasses and have been looking at a few different brands, and I think this is a sign that I should go with these!

  32. I love these glasses! We used to have these at home (because my dad likes drinking glasses where he can fit his nose in?!) and now my boss bought the same ones. It’s nice to read that these Picardie/Duralex glasses have fans across the world.

  33. Lynn says...

    My parents had those Duralex glasses throughout all of my childhood and into my adulthood. I love them so much that when my parents finally replaced them a few years ago (the glass had become misty and not clear after 30+ years of use) I asked them to ship them to me. They’re classics.

  34. Mariana says...

    I live in Paris, and my 2 year old similarly will only drink from real glasses. I’m here to say he smashes at least one of these Duralex glasses a week on our toes kitchen floor! :(

  35. Celine says...

    i was about to leave a comment about the “How old are you” trick – but some fellow Frenchies were faster than me !
    Another nice tip is to get the same design from Rice, this cute Danish brand for home ware – their melamine cups with vivid colours and patterns are awesome (well, I like the Duralex Picardie as well).
    This is genius when you have young guests at home and a set of cups in various colours. Pour them a glass of juice, and each of them has to remember his/her cup’s colour – no mix up among kids :)

    • Where do you buy the Rice brand cups? I have been searching for melamine cups, bowls and plates for my little ones and their little guests for a few months now, but everything available here (in Canada) seems rather plain.

      My kid (now 2.5 years) learned to drink from a glass by starting out using a slanted training cup with handles (see “Doidy cup”) around 8 months of age. After she mastered that, she used glassware, but broke about 6 of them by accident. So, plastic it is :)

    • Celine says...

      Min, I am afraid I cannot be of great help since I am French, living in France where Rice products are quite easily distributed. From their website, I can see that Canada is a whole different story (well, no distributor at all ?). Rice has a “find a webshop” section – one option might be to buy your cups from abroad and have them shipped home ?
      (sorry to steal your blog for this rather private conversation Joanna :)

    • Thanks, Celine!!

  36. Cheryl says...

    I’ve been using these glasses for years. I buy them at thrift stores and garage sales. They are great for kids and adults.

  37. Mary says...

    These are the glasses my grandmother always had! I guess now I know why…

  38. How is it that knowing this style of glass is French makes me want to immediately drop everything and run to IKEA to stock up?! Suddenly our plain old Anchor-Hocking glasses are hum-drum.

    • Capucine says...

      Know that the Ikea glasses are far more breakable; we started with both and now have zero Ikea ones surviving but all the Picardie ones intact.

  39. Jenny says...

    It is funny to read this post. I am from British Columbia, Canada, and right from 6 months of age the public health nurses really encourage parents to start using regular cups. We mostly used regular cups with some sippy cups here and there until about 10 months. One down side to the cup mentioned in the article is that they are much easier to tip over. We only use wide bottom cups and have way less spills.

  40. Rhett says...

    My mom bought these more than 25 years ago and I always said they would be my everyday glasses, too. They are pretty and nearly indestructible. For a long time I couldn’t find them but finally did and they are so great for adults and kids!

  41. al maher says...

    We never went the sippy cup route and our now 3.5 year old has been using the Crate and Barrel version of those cups (in their smallest size) since he was 2. They are durable, classy, and easy for him to hold. I like them for wine, too.

  42. Tara S says...

    I bought 4 sets of these when my husband and I were married, 10 years ago, and we use them daily. We bought ours at Williams Sonoma. They are fancy enough for company, but perfect for daily use. We are in the wine business and I sometimes will serve wine out of the short set. My kids use them. We’ve chipped a few over the years, but overall I think these glasses are amazing.

  43. We have always used real glasses at mealtime. Both of my kids have gone to Montessori school since they were 8 months old. They only allow children to use real cups, utensils, plates to empower them to be independent. Love it…..until someone drops a glass or pours their milk on the rug. :)

  44. Ashley says...

    I love the idea! My 10 month old is using a sippy cup, but it seems ridiculous how far she has to lift it to get water… And hasn’t taken to the straw cup. But do you think 10 months is too young for a real cup?

    • Linn says...

      Try a doidy cup! It is angled in such a way that children don’t have to tip it so far back to get a drink, and they can see what they are drinking so they are less likely to spill. My daughter loved hers at that age.

    • Jen says...

      Our daughter started using these glasses at six months. Never had any issues with them and never used a sippy cup.

    • Ashley says...

      Thanks, never heard of it, but just ordered from Amazon! I’m excited to try!

  45. Erin says...

    Super-helpful! We’re working on this issue and need glasses, so thanks for perfect timing :)

  46. Loved your description of your son drinking water, so cute! That’s exactly how my youngest son ( 9 years old) still drinks out of a glass when he is in a hurry! So… good investment.
    This brought me back to my childhood. My parents had to buy these extra thick glasses for my brother who used to bite the glass while drinking water!

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

  47. We use mason jars for all our drinking glasses and the jelly jar size is perfect for little ones. I’ve dropped so many jars on the ground and they never ever break – they’re super sturdy!

    • Marianne says...

      We do this too! I’ve never had one shatter yet. We also use them for wine glasses in the summer. My little one thought it was apple juice and took a sip!

  48. I’ve used these glasses for years for my cappuccino’s, espresso’s and tea. They truly are very durable and lovely too!

  49. karina says...

    They’ve been around forever! Used all over Europe.

  50. Kylee says...

    I started using these with my twins when they were nine months old. Of course there were a lot of spills initially but it was only an inch of water so easy to clean up. The glasses are super strong, and the few that we’ve broken shatter into lots of small pieces, but not sharp shards, so they’re safer. My kids have never thrown a glass, not because they’re super well behaved (ha!) but because they understand that it will break. They’re now two and I trust them with regular glasses as well. As tiny toddlers they looked so damn cute drinking out of these glasses :)

  51. Whitney says...

    My parents have had these my entire life. When I went to college, my mom bought me a short and tall set, and I still use them today!

  52. Daniela says...

    We also had those when I was a kid, when they break, they don’t always break like pebbles like the security glass in a car windows, but they never break in shards. Only downside about the tempered glass: they also make cups, and when the glass is cold, the shock from the heat will make the cup explode (tempered glass is very thick, so it dilates more quickly on the inside than on the outside). Also, they break other glasses.

  53. Danielle says...

    I have never heard of these glasses. I need to get those for my niece. Have a great week!

    http://www.spring2spring.com

  54. Susy says...

    I got a set of these shortly after we moved to NYC 10 years ago. My French friend came over and was so excited I had them! I have broken a few over the years, but they do hold up well. They are inexpensive, and such a classic item that you can find them anywhere, so you can replace the ones you do break!

  55. Jo says...

    Check out mightynest.com. Great site for French glassware are and much more.

  56. Aimee says...

    We use similar ones from IKEA, a six pack for about $3, and even my 16 month old has been using them to drink out of since he was about 8 months old. My grandpa had similar juice glasses, so they are super nostalgic.

  57. Beth says...

    I grew up using those! Though I never knew the practicality of them until today…genius design. I thought we used them because my mom thought they were pretty (which they are), but in retrospect, I’m sure it was a safety measure since I was a pretty destructive kid!

  58. Bridget says...

    We have these and, I’m sorry to say, the claims that they are unbreakable just aren’t true. They shatter into way more pieces than a regular glass and are much harder to clean up because of it. They are just made of tempered glass so the shards aren’t quite so sharp. Yes, they are adorable, but we stopped using them with our then two year old son and still haven’t started again at age four.

    • Lisa says...

      This is so true!. After dropping one on ceramic tile, I spent a good part of they day getting the pieces up that had managed to spray across the kitchen floor. Last time I used them to the say the least.

  59. Susan says...

    Yes, for 45 years. :)

  60. Ros says...

    My parents have had these in the house since I was 10 (which means my younger brother wasn’t yet born). I think they might’ve broken a few since then, but most have been going strong (and looking classy!) for 20 years… not bad for everyday glassware!

  61. Madie says...

    I grew up with these! I might get my 2 y/o son a set – such a great idea. I’d love to get him off the plastic. What size (oz) would you think is best for little hands?

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      I think the best for kids are 6 ounces (that’s what’s in the photo above) or 8 ounces. Probably, at 2, 8 ounces would be good for your son.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question! we got two of the 4 ounce glasses for toby and anton (they’re tiny, like good for a little bit of orange juice or a small glass of milk), and four of the 8 ounce glasses for all of us to share (and for them to grow into).

  62. Celeste says...

    Oh man! I’ve been looking at the IKEA version of these glasses for some time. I keep breaking my other tumblers (yes, I’m an adult, usually not drunk) and we’re down to three in each size. Yikes. Glad to hear these are stronger. May be purchasing a set soon.

    • Alexis says...

      I have the IKEA version in the 12 oz (I think? It seems larger than 8) and 4 oz and love them. Never had one break, even though they are dropped occasionally.

    • Ros says...

      Personal experience: these hold out for years, but the Ikea ones shatter. They’re cheaper, but the quality reflects it.

  63. Kathryn says...

    We love these! Our two year old still pours water all over herself most of the time, but they are the perfect size for little hands and she’s getting the hang of it.

  64. Johann says...

    They are great and really unbreakable! As a true frenchie I have had those at home for years now and we used to have those at school restaurants as well. Small tip for amusing your kids there is usually a number at the bottom of the glass that you can see when you finished drinking, in school we used to say it was telling our age so at each meal we were asking our neighbor ” how old are you today?” And he had to finish his drink to tell us…. Cracked an entire generation of French kiddos :) ( yes it is funny when you’re 8!!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha that is awesome!

    • Patricia says...

      So true ! In France, every school restaurant have Duralex glasses – Picardie or Gigogne mostly. At 8, my daughter still plays “how old are you” with her friends at school every single day… and at home too. The older one is the “loser” and have to clear the table or do the dishes…

    • CATHERINE says...

      OH yes! Those glasses with your age at the bottom! So much fun! Duralex is great and I’ve noticed they make great glass plates too, which I mostly saw in the US, not so much in France. It’s cool that our childhood lunch cafeteria glasses are back in style now, and it’s fun! This summer, I bought a colored version, peach! (they still have the numbers at the bottom!!)

  65. MS says...

    I have these, and they definitely break into pieces, not harmless glass pebbles.

  66. We use the Ikea version for my kids (16 months and 3 years), and we haven’t lost one yet! We have the larger version for the adults, so the kids feel very grown up using them, and they’re perfect for little hands. I don’t know if the glass is tempered though, I should probably look into that!

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60081734/

    • Yes! They are made of tempered glass!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ikea nails it, once again :)

  67. ‘Love anything French! These tumblers are the best….durable, kid-friendly, and oh so chic for morning juice!! xo

    (=’.’=)
    -Lauren
    adorn la femme