Friday, 20 February 2015
Numeracy with buttons
My children have developed a love for buttons. They love to sort through them and look at all the different shapes, sizes and colours. Sometimes they stow a few away - for safe keeping I'm sure. They place them in pockets and tell me they are treasure! It's a wonder they can find such excitement in playing with such a simple object!
First we tried a sorting activity. I placed a dish with compartments on a tray and placed a bowl of buttons next to it. I purchased this mixed bag of buttons from Hobby craft for just £1 and the kids have had so much fun with the buttons. This activity was set up for R, who is 2.5 years old, as it's more for his age group, but D came over to look at the buttons too. It is a great activity for toddlers and preschoolers but remember to watch them carefully if they are still at the stage of putting everything in their mouth.
Sorting is a good way of developing early maths skills. It will encourage a child to think about the different properties of objects and learn to distinguish between objects that are the same or different. It can teach children to separate things into different groups by size, colour, shape etc.
Next, I got D involved and asked the children to count the buttons in each group. We spoke about the groups; which group is biggest, which group is smallest, are any of the groups the same size? Then the groups were sorted in order from biggest to smallest.
You could even do this with a group of buttons, as we did, if you have a mixed bag like these. Ask your child to take all the blue buttons for example and line them up in order from biggest to smallest.
We spoke about the holes in the buttons. How many holes does each one have - one, two, three or four? Who would have thought there would be so many possibilities with just a simple bag of buttons?!