Need a Button?

Button Outline Matching

Sweet Pea is 39 months old.

From: I found this great post full of ideas for buttons at The Activity Mom.


  • A bag of plastic craft buttons.  (We got ours from Micheal’s.)
  • A thin tipped marker
  • A piece of paper.


  • Select several different shaped buttons.
  • Use the marker to draw an outline around each button.

  • Gather your tot, the selected buttons and the paper.
  • Pick up a button and say, “I am going to find where this button belongs.”
  • Slowly move it over each of the outlines until you come to the one that fits.
  • Place the button inside the outline as you say, “Here it is!  This outline matches this button.”
  • Leave the button in its correct spot.
  • Help your tot as needed to finish the rest of the buttons.

Observations: This started out well.  Sweet Pea was sooo excited about the bag of buttons and kept asking, “What activity are we going to do?”  the entire time I was drawing the outlines.  However, almost as soon as I had shown her what to do, she was tired of it.  It’s hard to say exactly what the problem was, but I think that maybe she was too old for it.

Sweet Pea’s expression in the picture below clearly showcases her feelings regarding this activity.

Oh well, I have lots more ideas for her that involve the bag of buttons, one of which, is just letting her do whatever the heck she wants with them.

I’m sure Sweet Pea wouldn’t recommend this activity, but it was fairly quick to set up so it might be worth a try.

Notes from the Trenches: I wish I would have drawn fewer outlines.  Of course, I wanted to draw an outline for every single unique button shape that was in the bag and I think that might have overwhelmed Sweet Pea a little bit.  Perhaps if I would have only drawn 6 button outlines, she would have been more compelled to finish it.  Of course, then it would have only taken her 4 seconds to complete it any way.

Oh, and I’m sure the buttons are a huge choking hazard, so watch your tot closely.

Rating: 2 Stars * (Easy, Independent – after initial set-up)

Carnivals: This post is linked at One Hook Wonder’s weekly Montessori Monday and Mommy Moment’s  Montessori Moment.  Take a look at those sites for other great Montessori ideas.

9 comments to Button Outline Matching

  • I love it! I think you might be right on the age thing…she might be just a little too old for it. I am going to try it with my son, who is 33 months old and see how he does. Thanks for sharing!

  • Perhaps she would have enjoyed it more if she were helping to create the outlines too. She also might have enjoyed gluing the buttons on the right shapes to add a little extra something to the process. One last thought(I promise:) – I wander if the patterns were drawn in such a way to form a picture like a flower – then she matched and glued the buttons to the patterns and in the end have a bright colorful object she would recognize – I wander if she would have liked it? I see so much potential for this idea – thanks for sharing both the positives and the negatives. You got me thinking here:)

    • admin

      Thank you for all of your tips! I feel like I should let you vet my ideas before I implement them next time. 🙂 I think I’m going to try letting her glue the buttons to the paper. She loves glue, so I think that would be a huge hit, although I am usually totally surprised by what she likes or doesn’t like. Thanks for the analysis of my idea and the suggestions for improvement.


  • Love this idea!! I think my almost 3 year old would love this! I think I might have trouble taking the buttons away after the activity! 🙂

  • It’s nice to see different ideas for using those big buttons!

  • I really like this idea as well. I think my 2.5 year old would enjoy it, but I can totally see an older child not finding it interesting. How about using the outlines and buttons in a stereognostic bag? Put the buttons in a bag, point to a specific outline, then have your daughter reach in the bag and pull out the correct button by feel. Thanks for linking to Montessori Monday!

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