Using a pack of primary colored buttons (less than $2) I got from a craft store, we've been working on a few math skills.
All of these activities are great to introduce to as young as pretoddlers, provided they will at least watch you.
Activity #1: Counting
Our number of the week was 9, so we counted out buttons in piles of 9. Count out loud and move the buttons as you count. When counting it is important for young children to move objects to avoid confusion and, what I call, counting in circles (counting the same items over and over).
*If you do this activity and #2 on the same day, do this one first. Otherwise young children may have a hard time transitioning and may want to continue sorting by color if you do #2 first and then try activity #1.
Activity #2: Sorting by color
Start the piles for young children. Depending on the age or skill level, you may need to go button by button with them. You may also need to only give them a few colors at a time, as more may be overwhelming. My 2.5 year old was able to handle 5 color sorting with no problem.
If your buttons have different shapes, you can also sort by shapes or other attributes.
Activity #3: Patterns
Patterns can be pretty difficult! Keep in mind that in Virginia this is a Kindergarten standard of learning, which means 4,5, or 6 year olds. It's a great introduction, but don't get frustrated if they don't see the patterns right away. Be patient!
Start with AB patterns if just introducing them or if working with young children. I started with 2 different objects: buttons and clothespins. I started the pattern (ABABABABA___) and asked my toddler if she could tell what would come next. Verbalize the pattern by saying "Clothespin, button, clothespin, button, clothespin...what do you think is next?"
Then we moved to colors.
I then let her have free play with them, where she ended up stacking them and making pictures out of them. I didn't even think of that! :)
This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.
To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!