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A fun learning activity for preschoolers is sorting buttons. You can find them at garage sales and some thrift stores. Your child can learn a multiple of concepts, such as; colors, numbers, shapes and sizes, by sorting buttons.
  • COLORS - Give your child 10 or more buttons in 3 or 4 colors. Have him sort the buttons into color piles.
  • NUMBERS - Have your child sort a pile of buttons into piles according to the number of holes in the buttons.
  • SHAPES - Try to find 4 or 5 buttons of 3 - 4 different shapes, such as; circles, squares, triangles and hearts. Have your child sort them into individual shape piles.
  • SIZES - Have your child sort a pile of buttons into 3 piles of small, medium and large buttons.
  • OPPOSITES - You can also set out buttons that your child can sort into two opposite piles, such as; plain and fancy.

After your child had had experience recognizing small, medium and large buttons, you can start having her choose 5 buttons and name them as characters in a family.

Example: A large button = Dad, A medium button = Mom
A small button = Baby; A medium button = Grandma
A medium button = Teenage brother

  • Have your child select a button family and make up a short story about them.
  • Place 6 buttons in a sack and have your child draw them out one at a time while you or your child makes up a story about the buttons drawn.


  • SIZE PATTERNING - Make a pattern of buttons, in a line on a table, for your child to duplicate. Such as; two little buttons, one bug button, two little, one big, etc. Go over your pattern with your child to be sure he understands the sequence before he tries to make his own line with your pattern.
  • COLOR PATTERNING - Pick two colors of buttons and make a repetitive pattern, such as; three while, two red, etc.
CAUTION: Be sure to supervise children at all times when using buttons because they can be a choking hazard. Children under three should only work with large buttons over 1 ½" in diameter.
100 BUTTONS (A Counting Game)
Give your child a pile of buttons and have him count them into piles of ten.
When she has created 10 groups of 10, have her put them into a pile of 100.
ALTERNATIVE: You could also do this activity by having your child string ten buttons onto a chenille stem. When she has completed ten strings, have her twist the stems together to create one large stem or circle.
Find 4 - 5 flat nickel to quarter sized buttons in different primary colors.
Next, take index cards and draw a simple flower shape on each (larger than the buttons).
Color the flowers the same colors as the buttons.
Have your child place the button in the center of the flower that is it's same color.