We adore playing with buttons at our house too. I knew Rebecca and I loved to have our children learn through play, but I had know ideas they all loved to explore buttons. After reading this wonderful post by Rebecca of Here Come the Girls, please stop by her blog and see all the wonderful ways she and her girls are learning together.
Taking Time to Play
Button Sorting for Toddlers
My twins are two and have just started giving up there naps - sob! They still need a quiet play activity in the afternoon as it can be a long day for them otherwise. I like to give them something which they will be able to play with for a little while but is easy to set up and clear away.
One of their favourite activities is to play with buttons. It is really interesting playing this with them and watching how they play change. To begin with they would just scoop up the buttons and put them from one container to the other. Now gradually more play skills are developing. They are starting to sort through the buttons and make more of a game of it.
To help them develop their sorting skills I gave the twins a tray with a selection of buttons on it and some brightly coloured ice cube trays. At first they just put the buttons randomly into the trays but when they saw me start to sort the buttons out by colour Rose particularly began to copy me. She is really interested in colours and loves learning the colour names.
This is where it is fascinating having twins, especially non identical ones. You can really see how their personalities are different when you play with them. Charlotte can concentrate for a while if it is an activity she loves like painting but when it is a fine motor skill activity like this one she will play for a little while but quickly becomes bored. When it is time for her to finish she will usually throw everything on the floor to mark the end of the game.
Rose, on the other hand, adores this sort of activity. She was there for about an hour playing with the buttons and loved it when I joined in with her. Eventually the game switched from sorting and the buttons took on more of a personality. She is at the stage where she personifies everyday objects and the buttons became a Mummy, daddy, Charlotte and Rose. She put the Rose button with the Mummy button, which I found interesting as she tends to be more clingy towards me while Charlotte is more of a Daddy's girl.
This was such a fun activity. The buttons are so tactile and make a lovely sound when you play with them. Charlotte loved tipping a whole lots of buttons from one container to another - not just because it makes a mess but also to listen to the sound it made.
Other objects which work well are pom poms or beads. Whatever you do - this is a fun and calm way to spend time with your toddler and a way to encourage them to lead the play.
Rebecca is a teacher turned stay-at-home Mom to three girls (a five year old and two year old twins) and blogs at Here Come the Girls which is full of crafts, cooking and chaos. Follow her adventures with her twins on; twitter or Facebook.