5 Ways To Have Fun (and Learn) With a Jar of Buttons

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by FiveHive Community Member Belinda from www.everydayplay.blogspot.com

Go on a treasure hunt…….

Buttons can be found in second hand stores, haberdashery stores and often in a small plastic bag attached to new clothing. Why not make it a special event that whenever you go out with the special child in your life, you pop into a store to find a couple of very special buttons to add to your jar.

How this helps learning:

Having a special ritual is a wonderful way to develop a close relationship with a child. It gives you a common interest and is something she can look forward to the two of you doing together.

Get sorted…..

Give a child a few small special bowls and allow her to sort through the jar. She can sort according to size, colour or shape. Encourage her to look at the details of the buttons, the textures, patterns, how many holes they have.

How this helps learning:

Sorting and classifying according to different characteristics, helps develop pre-maths skills. It also helps develop attention to detail and allows your child to think about how things can be similar and different.

String them together….

Thread a needle with a long piece of string. Thread the buttons onto the string, making a long chain. Turn the threading into a necklace, bracelet or mobile or take all the buttons off to start again next time.

How this helps learning:

Picking up the small buttons one by one and pushing the needle through the hole in the button helps to develop fine motor skills and eye-hand co-ordination.

Just add playdough……

Buttons make the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon of play dough fun. They can be the eyes of a cat, buttons of a snowman, or eggs in a nest. Add some straws and icy pole sticks for extra imaginative fun.

How this helps learning:

Moulding playdough and clay is a wonderful sensory experience that can help children to relax and unwind. It also works muscles in the hands and wrists and allows children to develop their imaginations and creativity.

Food for thought……

‘Mums and Dads’ or “playing house’ is always a favourite with young children. They love to get busy with dress ups, saucepans, bowls, spoons, plates and forks. Often, the only thing missing is the food and it’s hard to come up with food that doesn’t make a great big mess. Buttons make wonderful food. They can be stirred, poured, mixed up and dished out and they’re relatively easy to pack up at the end of the fun.

How this helps learning:

Dramatic play games such as ‘mums and dads’ are very important to for a child’s social and emotional development. It is through these pretend games that children make sense of the world and sort through the important information about our social rules they collect on a day-to-day basis.

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