Not every house will have a large collection of buttons like we do, but even a few will be fun for this button color sorting activity —on pipe cleaners. With only a couple of handfuls, Little Sister enjoyed playing with the buttons and making piles of “jewels” although she couldn’t decide if they were for fairies or pirates.
With a few of the colors to match the pipe cleaners already in a separate bowl, it was much easier to match the color of the button to the color of the pipe cleaner. (Thank you, Diapers to Diplomas, for this great idea!) Most of the buttons had fairly large holes so they weren’t too hard for little hands to string. The buttons with the loop on the back were very easy to poke on and slide.
One button looked green beside the green pipe cleaner but yellow beside the yellow one. It was a good example of how some colors can be difficult to match. In the photo, it’s the small greeny-yellow dot on top of the white button in the middle.
There were several buttons with dark blue edges and white in the middle. I asked Little Sister if they should go on the blue pipe cleaner or the white one. An object can often fit in more than one category at a time but this means choosing one part that fits and ignoring the parts that do not. She decided maybe they were “fwozen” like ice cubes.
Learning fun and play can come from such simple activities and materials. Pipe cleaners and buttons are easy to find and can be used over and over. Not only are kids practicing the skills of sorting and categorizing, but also making choices and using color words. Coordination and the small muscles in the hands and fingers are still developing at this age, so this color button sorting and sliding onto pipe cleaners was good fine motor exercise. There was lots of big physical movement too, getting down on the floor to pick up buttons that had fallen, and a bit of counting as well.
What a fun little play-of-the-day. Is this something your child might like?