Q: What else can you do with that button jar??
A: Here are some ideas to get you started:
* just look at it (seriously, some kids will be thoroughly engaged just looking at it)
* pull out last week’s empty egg carton and sort those buttons ’til you’re all sorted out (size, shape, color, number of holes, lights/darks, favorites, etc.)
* play “Button Store” (When you are the customer, order progressively more complex combinations. Begin with, “I’ll take two blue buttons and three red ones, please.” Work towards, “I’ll take five white buttons. Actually, one less than that, please.” or “May I please have two buttons with four holes and four buttons with two holes?” Throw in a little brown bag for “the purchases” along with some “please’s,” “thank you’s”, and “come back again’s”.)
* Make gifts! For example, last Christmas, Vivienne’s gifts to family members and friends were collections of button magnets. We glued varieties of buttons onto small round magnets and boxed them up with some green crinkle-paper. (Wish I had some pictures for ya… They really were precious. Side note: For Vivienne’s grandparents, we purchased inexpensive miniature nativity ornaments and made magnetic nativity sets.)
* Match ‘em. For example, using different colored crayons, mark small dots on a piece of paper. Ask your preschooler to glue a matching-colored button on top of each dot.
* Count them.
* Name them. Feed them. Wash them. Put them to bed. (You think I’m joking??)
* String them along on a piece of wire to make a button-bracelet.
* Make your own Button Family Photo. Together, choose one button that most closely represents each person in your family. (For example, if Dad has a large purple head, the large purple button would be the perfect choice! Seriously though, you’ll crack up at your preschooler’s reasoning.) Glue it to a piece of paper. Ask your preschooler to draw the rest of the body under the button-head.
* Measure them with Tablespoons, teaspoons, and cups.
* Pour them, mix them, and put them away.
Incidentally, if you happen not to share my sincere affection for buttons, I’d be happy to take yours off your hands (or jackets, sweaters, shirt-cuffs, etc.) Also, if you happen to spot the mother-load at a garage sale, scoop ‘em up: I’ll pay you back! Just send ‘em our way.