Toddlers are busiest tiny human, as they play all the time. It’s their way to learn, observe and interact. Free play hours bring out their imagination and creativity, while structured ones focus on logical thinking. Our favorite activity of this week was around colorful buttons.
Few weeks earlier, Penguin discovered a stash of buttons from my unused sewing box and we had fun for hours. So, I got him a handful colored buttons and few tools to keep him engaged and learn few concepts this week. Jotting down 5 ways to have fun with colorful buttons, we tried few arts works too, saving those for another post.
Get a bowl with lid and make an opening wide enough for buttons using any utility knife. Done. Give your toddler another cup of buttons and let them drop buttons or coins in the covered bowl. It would help in their fine motor skills. Start with cup without lid and then move to lid with opening. We started a variation of this game as card slot drop when Penguin was 15 months old.
I preferred teaching color and shape before introducing numbers and alphabets. So, we do color sorting frequently but we need variations like pompoms or cloth pegs. When we have buttons, we do our must-practice color sorting. Take about 5-10 same colored chunky buttons and same colored bowls. Play together to sort them out. Bring up the level by adding a lid with opening, making it a button color drop game. Learning colors and sorting is the earliest form of math.
Scoop and transfer
Scooping and transfer is my toddler’s all-season favorite game. He can efficiently convert any planned structured play to scooping and transfer. Even this game was planned and executed Penguin’s way. He would select his tools as spoons of different functionalities or tea strainer or spatulas etc. It is a good fine motor activity with focus on grasp development and hand preference. We got a scooper as tool for this game. Get two cups, fill one with buttons and allow kid to empty it.
Penguin is not yet introduced to numbers. So, he can’t recognize numbers. But he learning the early math, understand the concept of one vs more. Recently he picked up counting numbers as we climb up and down stairs. So, I though of explaining numbers with buttons. Another appealing play for him.
Balancing buttons over popsicle sticks was the most difficult game for Penguin. Initially he struggled to put button over sticks. Gradually, he was able to put few on the stick too. It demanded good amount of focus and attention. A fun game.
When I got those 5 sets of identical color buttons I could think of few activities and we played-learned over a week till we rotated the toys. Do you have any more ideas for toddler activities with them? Please let me know your ideas in comments.