Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Preschool Activities: Button Sort

By Deborah Pace Rowley

The ability to sort objects based on patterns, colors, size etc. is a critical math skill and an important concept to practice for kindergarten readiness. For this button sorting activity, all you need is an empty egg carton and a container of assorted buttons. If you don’t have a collection of buttons, just check with your mother or grandmother. I can almost guarantee that they will!
To play: Set the egg carton in front of your child and lay out about 20 buttons on the table. Then ask your child to sort them by size.  Put all the big buttons in one cup in the egg carton. Put all the medium-sized buttons in a different cup. Put all the small buttons in a third cup.
Next sort the buttons by color. Put all the yellow buttons together.  All the brown buttons together. Etc. Help your child see that different hues or shades of green can still be sorted with the green buttons. Usually there will be some buttons with multiple colors. Decide together where they should go or create another category of their own.  
You can sort by shapes if you have buttons that are round, square, and triangular. You can sort by holes. Some buttons have two holes, some buttons have three holes and some buttons have four or more holes. You can sort by texture. Are some buttons smooth and some rough? Do some buttons have raised edges? Are some buttons decorated with stripes or flowers? Are there buttons with one color, two colors or three or more colors on them?  

Be creative in the different patterns that you see in your own button collection. For an added challenge, have your older preschooler lay out 30 or more buttons. Then encourage him to find patterns to sort for himself.   

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