Preschool Playdate: Buttons

Preschool Playdate: October 22, 2015
Inspiration: Count Your Buttons Day

— Welcome song in English (emphasizes printed name recognition as Sweet Peas find their card in a line-up and place it on our Name Ledge)
— Welcome song in Spanish (reinforces names as Sweet Peas sing to their peers)
— Discussion of theme: Shared five different articles of clothing and the different kinds of buttons they had. Talked about how once upon a time, the kind of buttons someone wore could tell you about their lifestyle or place of origin.
— Storytime: Corduroy

Of course we had to share  Corduroy by Don Freeman, the story of the little bear with the lost button!!Corduroy

My intention was to reinforce vowel sounds, along with using words that start with “B” like “button”.  B and G lent themselves well to this little activity, so I created little word cards with the idea that the Sweet Peas would use the buttons to cover the letters, working fine motor skills as well as reinforcing vowels and phonics.

I tried this activity on two days…I had my doubts about the image for “big”. Rightly so – many of the non-reading Sweet Peas said “dog” when they saw that card. For the littles it ended up being more of a word identification game.  Only my elementary school kiddos were interested in forming the letters out of buttons on the word cards.

The most fun at this center for our preschool guests was playing with the buttons. Everyone played in the button box. Very few played with the cards as I had envisioned.

I think on it’s own this center might work. The biggest attraction was the Arts & Crafts center, so the Literacy and Math centers fell by the wayside this particular day.

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This was a button sorting bonanza. I had originally designed these activities for our Sweet Peas’ “Busy Books”.  One card was designed to sort by color, the other size, and the third was a “free play”. There were six different outlines so the child could follow through with their own idea of how to sort.

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Buttoning buttons!
Another activity was taken directly from the Busy Books I made. In order to have enough for all the children that attend, I made enough of these for all the Sweet Peas to be able to play at once if that’s how the group moved. I sewed a big button on to one end of the ribbon; on the other side I sewed to a square piece of felt that would act as the “stopper” for the other felt squares being buttoned on to the ribbon.

Level 1: Motor skill development as children “button” the fabric and then slide it down the ribbon.

Level 2: Patterning – the children could create a pattern with the felt shapes as they buttoned the fabric onto the ribbon.

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The other center was playing with the different kinds of buttons found on clothing: plastic, wood, metal, shell, and fancy 🙂 I left the clothes out that we introduced at the beginning of the playdate so that the Sweet Peas could take a closer look at the buttons and try to button and unbutton the clothing.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was an adaptation of a “Love Bug” Valentine’s Day Craft. I called these “Cute as a Button” Bugs.  This was  the big hit for the day!

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We finish our Preschool Playdate with a sharing time: each child that wants to share gets to say what (s)he enjoyed the most about the morning.  We close with a good-bye song where children are welcome to give hugs.  It helps to set a formal end to the time together so that parents have a clear reason to insist that it’s time to go if they have somewhere to be afterwards.  Otherwise, the kiddos and parents that don’t have to leave stay and play until the music teacher for our older Sweet Peas arrives.