Buttons are so bright and appealing to children, aren’t they? I have a bag of “big buttons” in our preschool supplies; Riley loves digging her little hands into the bag and playing with them. They’re also fantastic tools for learning as there are so many ways they can be used.
Please remember that children should not be left unattended while playing or learning with buttons. They’re a choking hazard for toddlers and babies. They’re so colorful that Caroline is automatically drawn to them. Due to this fact, we have to be extra careful that each and every button is put back after we use them.
Without further ado, here are 5 fun ways to incorporate buttons into your learning fun.
- Sorting. Pull out a variety of buttons (variety packs are available at our Walmart for around $2.00) and a clean egg carton. Have your child separate buttons by color, shape, or size. Sorting helps prepare children for more advanced math concepts they’ll be learning in the elementary school years.
- Letter learning. Draw or print out large, bold letters. Have your little one “trace” the letter with buttons. This would be a great activity to have your child do while you’re discussing what sound a letter makes and words that start with that particular letter. Believe it or not, sometimes a quiet task like this one will actually help your child stay focused on the learning at hand.
- Art Projects. Whether it’s glueing them on as buttons, using them as fruit in a tree, or stamping play dough, buttons can be used in many different art projects. They add quick pops of color and children love selecting the buttons.
- Counting. Print out flashcards with the numerals from 1-15. Help your child lay out buttons on or under each card. This will help him visualize each number. Often children are able to “count” from 1-15, but don’t grasp “how many 5 is.” This will help your preschooler learn this concept.
- Threading. Learning to put items on a string is often hard for little hands. Using pipe cleaners and large buttons helps make this task easier in the beginning. Bend one end of the pipe cleaner so the buttons won’t fall off, and give your child a pile of buttons to thread. This is fantastic for working on fine motor skills, and you can also ask her to make a pattern or sort them onto various pipe cleaners.
As you can tell from the photo, my little girl thoroughly enjoyed playing with the buttons. She asks quite often if we can use them again. When there’s a repeated request, you know it was an activity that piqued your child’s interest.
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