Button Art

buttonart This simple sorting activity doubles as a creative arts and crafts project!


  • To encourage early math concepts with number recognition
  • To promote sorting/classification
  • To develop counting and fine motor skills
  • To experiment with different art materials

Before You Start: Collect a variety of buttons in various sizes and numbers of holes and put them in a large bin or tub. Place the container of buttons and beads on a surface where all the children are able to easily access them. Label three smaller containers with the numbers 1, 2 and 4 and set those nearby. (Clean recycled plastic containers from butter spread, dips, yogurt, etc are perfect for this!) Prepare different colors of Colorations® heavy construction paper and a variety of Colorations® markers, crayons, glitter and glue for the children's projects.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Show the children examples of buttons and beads with 1, 2 and 4 holes and place them in the containers with the corresponding numbers (buttons with one hole in the container marked 1, two-holed buttons in container 2 and so forth).

Step 2. Have the children work together to sort the buttons themselves. This is a great opportunity to discuss the different sizes of the buttons, while encouraging beginning counting and number recognition.

Step 3. Once the children have sorted all the beads, it's time to create! Give each child a sheet of paper to glue the buttons onto. Encourage the children to decorate their sheets of paper any way they like. You may want to provide examples of designs as ideas for the children to make.

Step 4. Encourage the children to use the different drawing materials to create different shapes and patterns; they can even make collages or pictures. The most important part of this activity is creativity and self-expression.

Step 5. Have the children share their artwork when everyone has finished. Now they each have their own unique, button art to display in the classroom or to have as a keepsake.

Furthermore: To develop sorting skills further, have children identify and classify the buttons by their different colors and sizes. You could also use different colored foam shapes, geometric blocks, pom-poms and sort by color, shape and size.

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