This is an activity J has done both at home and on airplanes. I found a big bag of colorful buttons, in different sizes. Set out some string and he was focused threading them for 30 minutes at least. This is a good fine motor skill activity. J is a very organized little boy so he typically wants to sort the buttons by color, matching each with the corresponding color string…. which meant mom had to track down string to match each button 🙂
We’ve also tried stringing the buttons by size but this hasn’t been J’s favorite activity. He’d much rather sort colors. It’s still a great practice activity to try. I’ll bring it out again after awhile. If you do plan on sorting by size, I would start with a just a few buttons and as your little one excels increase the number of buttons to sort and/or decrease the difference in sizes.
Traveling: We started using this activity on planes when J was old enough to keep track of the buttons. We keep them in a ziploc and he takes out one at a time. I only bring the larger buttons with us and he strings them on pipe cleaners instead of string. I like multiple uses for travel toys and pipe cleaners offer lots of other uses.
Lesson learned: Using pipe cleaners to thread is much easier than using string. This makes activities like this (or stringing beads, stringing sponges ) possible for younger ones. You can bend down the sharp ends of the pipe cleaners.
Age attempted: 27 months