While I’m getting ready to go see my new Grandbaby, I’ll be updating and posting some oldies but goodies. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent or babysitter, you can keep a preschooler engaged with fun activities using cheap buttons and kitchen tools. Enjoy this updated post back from when Peck was Tot.

Materials: Variety button pack from Walmart, muffin tin, spoon, salt or sprinkle shaker, dry spaghetti

Color and Size Sorting: Have student pick up buttons by color and sort into muffin cups.

Tot couldn’t care less about sorting. He just had fun grabbing the colorful objects up in his fist and dumping them willy-nilly into the compartments. After several minutes the newness of the buttons wore off, and I was able ask him some questions about color and introduce the concepts of big and little. With a preschooler, flexibility is key. Don’t force an activity. Instead, try the activity later when the child displays more interest.

Spoon Scooping: Give the student a spoon to scoop up the buttons and dump them back into the tin.

This activity strengthens fine motor skills. If your child still shows interest in the buttons, move on to the next activity that works his fine motor skills.


Spaghetti Threading: Using an empty sprinkle container or salt shaker as a base, stand up pieces of dry spaghetti. Have the student thread the noodles through the holes in the buttons.

Tot also learned that while Mom didn’t let him put the buttons in his mouth, she didn’t care if he ate the spaghetti which made the activity more fun.


Back then, the buttons were a rousing homeschooling success. The kind of educational experience where everything goes as expected: the child learns, the mother feels accomplished, and the angels weep.

Through this guided play, Tot reviewed his colors, was introduced to the concepts of big and little, and strengthened his fine motor skills. Most importantly, he was entertained for about twenty minutes which, for a mother, is an eternity.

I can’t wait until little Prince is old enough to do these kinds of activities. But until then, I’m gonna love being his Grandma!

Our new little Prince