Book Week 2018

The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid

It’s CBCA Book week 2018!!! Easily my favourite week in the teaching calendar. This years theme is FIND YOUR TREASURE. I knew social media would be saturated with pirate themed books, so I found one a little different.

 “The Button Box” by Margarette S. Reid, is about a young boy who explores and plays with his grandmother’s special box of buttons. He makes swirls, counts them, imagines who would have worn the buttons, sorts by type, size and colour, threads them, explores their textures, their sounds and ends with him practicing how to button his own shirt.

What a lot of wonderful learning opportunities for growing minds right there!

Please make sure that you are careful with giving small objects such as buttons to young children.

These activities should always have active parental supervision. Not suitable for children under 2.

Because my eldest little amigo is only 2 years old, we went with some easy (but still fun and educational) button activities this week. We used a jar of buttons that my mother gave to me when I was a young girl, I’ve added to it over the years, but never used any. This was the perfect time to have fun with them.

First up, we had to make a TREASURE BOX to hold his special treasures and trinkets. You can get really creative with this, we kept it simple and put stickers on a gold gift box found in our recycling stash.

One skill my little amigo is really good at and loves doing right now is SORTING. Give him a bunch of objects and containers to sort into and he is engaged for a good while. Now, my button stash is closely related in colour which would have ended in tears of frustration. So I gave him a pile of my chunky beads instead. Because he has never seen or played with these either, the novelty of a new found “treasure” was still

Next, we made LINES using the buttons. This is still a skill he is developing, so to lessen any frustration, I drew two lines on a whiteboard for him to follow (straight and zigzag). I modeled a few to get him started.

My little amigo loves all things STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art and maths). Helps that his Dada does too. And what 2yr old boy doesn’t want to be just like his dad? I challenged him to BUILD A TOWER with the buttons – a very difficult activity he quickly discovered. Then Dada showed him how to add playdough between each button. Wonderful discussion then followed about the height of the towers and why the playdough one was taller. This is a great one for older kids too. Challenge them to build he tallest tower possible with just playdough and buttons.

Inspired by some friends who follow a Montessori at home method, I have become intentional about teaching PRACTICAL LIFE SKILLS to my boys when they are young. Buttoning is one such life skill. Zips are handy, but not all outfits have them, and doing up/undoing buttons is a great fine motor skill. I put one of his cardigans on a large bear we have, modeled a few times and then let him have a try. Intervening only when he asked for help.

To finish off our Book Week we got a little sticky with an ART activity. On a piece of card, I put dots of PVA glue. My little amigo (2yrs) then placed a button onto each dot. There was absolute silence during this activity. He was concentrating so hard. We made a spiral, but you can do any shape/picture you like. Older kids can put the glue on themselves.

These are just some of the many activities that can be done with buttons. If you had time you could also thread buttons (or make large paper roll beads by cutting a toilet roll into 3), sort by different attributes such as texture and size, or if you have older kiddos you could encourage them to create stories about the people who once wore the different types of buttons.

 Have you ever done any button themed activities with your little one? How did it go? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below 🙂

Stay joyful,


Book Details:
Reid, M (1990), The Button Box, Puffin Books, USA.


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