Tuesday, January 19, 2010

# The Math Box - Buttons

Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom surprised us with a package last week. She sent us a great collection of different buttons. Anna was thrilled and wanted to play with them so many times since we got this gift. Of course, I couldn’t resist fitting some math games in:

• Category sorting – I drew four circles for sorting – large, medium, small and “unusual”, and Anna had great fun sorting buttons into categories. Then she counted smaller sets, and I showed her how to count big sets by groups of 10.
• Visual Discrimination – she would close her eyes and pick three buttons. Then she described in detail how they are the same and different. For example, some of the buttons were butterflies, but they were of a different color. She was also noticing small details such as number of holes.
• Buying buttons” for necklace making. She had to tell me how many buttons she wants to buy and pay for them with counting erasers. Then she could use them to make necklaces – one of her favorite activities.
• I also wanted to use buttons as non-standard measurement unit to measure craft sticks and such, but we didn’t get there yet. Instead we had fun using them as quick rattles in the plastic boxes.
• If you have any other ideas for playing with buttons, do let me know. I love reusing ideas from my blogging friends.

MaryAnne said...

I love all of these button activities! My kids mostly sort buttons so far (by size, color, texture, or shape), but thanks to this post I have a bunch of new ideas!

Christy said...

http://superheroesandprincesses.blogspot.com/2009/04/button-box.html

We love to play with buttons.

Mama to 3 Blessings said...

We love buttons in our house too & use them for all sorts of things! Very nice gift! :)

Our Little Family said...

So many great activities! You are fabulous with coming up with such a variety of activities using a certain material. And gosh, I was trying to think of other button-related activities, but I'm coming up blank. Too busy thinking about all the things Anna did and what Maddie might like!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

How nice of Ticia! We love our buttons. I keep meaning to search out art projects, and sewing projects for them - but I love how you used them for math.

Debbie said...

What a treat from Ticia! I keep saying that we are going to pick up new buttons while out bargain hunting.

I loved to play with buttons as a child myself. I know Selena would have a blast with them.

Felicia said...

What fun! My kids love buttons too!

Sounds like fun! I have buttons on my list of manipulatives that I would like to get for the boys. So many possible uses.

Susana said...

We have been having some fun with cool buttons lately too!!

That was very sweet and thoughtful of Ticia!

vanessa said...

What great ideas! Juliet just loves to PLAY with them. They entertain her for long stretches of time. I think she just likes to see how different they are from each other and decide which one is her favorite.

We glued a bunch onto a wooden box and now she keeps her button stash in her button box.

She also likes to decorate craft projects by gluing buttons down--we decorated a felt christmas tree with buttons one day this december.

Elise said...

We also have a button collection. We used them to "draw" and "colour in" shapes and animals. Unfortunately, our button collection doesn't come out too often anymore, I don't feel comfortable with Blake having access to buttons.

You came up with so many great uses for buttons. I really like your visual discrimination idea.

Ticia said...

making mosaics could be a fun one to do. Have fun arranging them and looking at them.

I didn't really send any big ones, but there's a set of buttons you can get that have great big eyes, and you could use those to learn how to sew buttons on.

Infant Bibliophile said...

I keep meaning to find time to comment on this. My son LOVES my buttons. I actually considered doing a post awhile back with 10 (20?) ways to play with buttons. Among the things we do with them:
finding pairs;
patterns;
counting;
sizes (which one is bigger);
i-spy (i-spy a white button with 2 holes);
scooping, pouring, etc. with spoons and other tools;
tiddliwinks (using one large button to flip a smaller one - google it if you don't know what I mean);
pretending to have the jar eat the buttons and other sorts of imaginative things like that;
and we recently used some while doing a collage.
Oh, I remember another one - letting him "string" them on pipe cleaners. We did it to make a candy cane shape with red and white buttons but you could also make something like a bracelet.