Counting: Handful of Buttons

Counting Handful of Buttons

Counting a Handful of Buttons

This simple counting activity helps emergent counters work towards:

  • Correctly counting collections of up to ten objects
  • Consistently matching one number word to one item in the collection.

How to play:

  • Pick up a handful of buttons
  • Guess how many buttons have been picked up
  • Placing the buttons in a row, count the buttons aloud.

Counting Handful of buttons in cup

Outcomes to work towards:

  • Count orally to ten in the correct order
  • Name the number word before or after a given number
  • Match each number word to one, and only one, object when counting.

Support Learning:

Here are some ways to help children who are not readily grasping the concepts required for this activity.

  • Model the activity before expecting children to complete the activity independently
  • Allow children to work at their own pace, giving extra time when necessary
  • Repeat the concept by using a variety of other resources
  • Limit the range of numerals being presented; work in the 0-5 range before the 0-10.

Extend the Activity:

Some ideas to further challenge children and further develop their efficiency with numbers.

  • Forming two lines of buttons next to each other, compare the two rows. Discuss which row has the greater number of buttons. Determine how many more buttons are in one line than are in the other line
  • Using the buttons, form a numeral. To support the development of numeral recognition, ensure that numerals are not always presented in sequence.
  • Using the buttons, make some button paper clips and number cards to learn the corresponding numeral for a set of objects.
You can “count” on more great activities like this from the Quirky Mommas:


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Pauline About Pauline

Pauline LessonsLearntJournal is all about life with kids. On Lessons Learnt Journal you'll find activities for children: play, maths games, handwriting, reading as well as parenting confessions. Pauline is a Christian, Wife, Mother of 4, Primary School Teacher. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed. Most days you'll find her chasing her kids and that much needed nap.