Buttons galore – Have fun & Learn

Simple little things can be so much fun.

The children can have great fun with buttons.

Collect some buttons and make sure there are some the same.

They can have fun pairing them. Putting them in rows, counting, threading with blunt needle….

Playing with the buttons can bring about concentration keeping them occupied using their hands.

Great for fine motor movement- picking up the buttons using their thumb and forefingers improves their pincer grasp.

They can have lots of fun and learn from this including Matching and learning colours

Nb make sure they are  not choking hazard.


+ image of buttons
[please note I have not used these buttons myself but I think they look lovely]

Buttons galore
Buttons galore


Using buttons in a classroom setting….

You can do this at home aswell

The button bag


things needed : button bag

set of buttons [10 pairs ]

small cloth

carried out on the table.

note:- this can be done as an individual activity or could be presented to a group of children. –

The number of pairs of buttons can be varied – start out with 4 pairs for example and work up to 10 or more- judge the child you are working with.

The following scenario depicts a child doing the button exercise. The child has been shown how to do the lesson  and has progressed to the stage where she can go and take the work herself .

Sandra is a member of staff –

Sandra sat on the little chair out of the way and watched discreetly as Susie laid a little cloth on the table.

Susie took the lovely red drawstring velvet bag and pulled it open. Sandra watched as she took out the lovely buttons and carefully placed them on cloth. Susie looked at the lovely round button all smooth and shiny. She reached in again and took out more buttons. Then she felt the bag all empty. Susie placed it at the side of the table. Then she began examining the buttons, ooh a lovely blue one, now where’s the other blue one ah here it is. Susie put them on the top left hand corner of the cloth then she put the pink one underneath. Now where’s the one the same oh here it is. Carefully she placed it beside the pink. Then she found a green sparkly one. It felt quite rough with all the sparkles. Susie lifted it and moved it a little. Sandra could see it sparkle as the light caught it. Susie was smiling. Then she found another just like it and placed them under the pink just like a little ladder. Susie paired all the buttons and sat looking at them for a little while then she put each button back in the bag. Sandra thought she was finished but then she took them out again and made another ladder of pairs. It was lovely to watch. Susie was very happy.

This exercise is excellent for improving concentration
Eye hand co-ordination
It is good for fine motor movement and the child is deciphering – problem solving – which button is the same?
The child’s sensory perception is enhanced through feeling the different textures

drawstring bag


You could record the activity – but make sure to be discreet and not disturb the child – breaking their concentration.

Nb: Always remember to get written parental permission for taking photographs.

The button bag activity may link in to the Themes Aims and, Learning goals of the Aistear Early Childhood Curriculum Framework….


Aim 2

Children will be as healthy and fit as they can be.

L.g. 3. discover, explore and refine gross and fine motor skills

They will be refining their fine motor skills doing this exercise

Aim 4

Children will have positive outlooks on learning and on life.

L.g. 1. show increasing independence, and be able to make choices and decisions

Once the exercise has been presented to the child they can choose to do it whenever they like

L.g. 2. demonstrate a sense of mastery and belief in their own abilities and display learning dispositions, such as determination and perseverance

Identity and Belonging

Aim 4

Children will see themselves as capable learners.

L.g. 3. show increasing confidence and self-assurance in directing their own learning

This exercise is self correcting and the children will be able to see if they are right thus gaining confidence in their ability

L.g. 6. be motivated, and begin to think about and recognise their own progress and achievements

Exploring and Thinking

Aim 1

Children will learn about and make sense of the world around them.

L.g. 1. engage, explore and experiment in their environment and use new physical skills including skills to manipulate objects and materials

They will be learning skills in taking the exercise from the shelf, carrying it to the table, laying out of the cloth, opening the bag, handling the buttons

L.g. 6. come to understand concepts such as matching, comparing, ordering,

sorting, size, weight, height, length, capacity, and money in an enjoyable and

meaningful way

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