Sunday, January 13, 2008

Button, Button

Illustration by Sarah Chamberlain

Twenty or so years ago I happened upon a store in New York City called Tender Buttons (143 E. 62nd Street.) It is a small room lined with rows of tiny drawers that are filled with buttons. Even though I had a button collection of my own, I didn't know they were real collector's items! Since then I search out button stores when I travel and have found some treasures. I have several boxes that I get out for the grandkids occasionally, but I had a mini-brainstorm when I found this book.

The Button Box, by Margarette S. Reid

It inspired a new Oma Kit. In a big ziploc bag I have assembled:
  1. A cute tin filled with my favorite, most colorful buttons. I replenished my collection with some whimsical buttons, including little animals, children's faces, and toys.
  2. A list of game ideas: Button, Button (Everyone holds their hands together. It pretends to drop a button between each person's hands, while saying "Button, Button, who's got the button." She slyly drops the button and everyone has to guess who got it;) Flower Picking (find and sort all the buttons with flowers); Zoo (find, sort and pretend with all the animal buttons;) Pinky (find all the pink buttons;) Soldiers (find all the brass buttons;) Treasure Hunt (find all the jewel looking buttons) get the idea.
  3. Small squares of cloth and some needles and thread, to practice sewing different types of buttons onto material.
  4. Thread to string through a button to make it sing. (See below)
  5. The book. (See above)

I took my new kit when I visited some grandkids this week, and the fun lasted for over an hour! I'm adding a thimble, so next time we can play Hide the Thimble (It goes out of the room while former It hides the thimble in plain sight. When It returns the players clap louder as she gets closer to the thimble, and softer as she moves away from it until she finds it) to carry out the sewing theme.

It's fun to borrow from the past, and play the old-fashioned games my grandmother played with me.

Illustration by Sarah Chamberlain

Alex Haley said, "Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children." That's my goal!


Stie: My Favorite Things said...

You more than achieve your goal when it comes to my kids. I only wish we were closer so we could enjoy you more often!

gab said...

Love this post! You are so good at sprinkling magic dust over my kids. I think the buttons are great...remember when we did buttons for dusting like the All of a Kind Family?

Debbie said...

Two of my favorite things are buttons and grandkids. Thanks for the great suggestions and flash back memories of games I used to play as a kid.

kenju said...

You do it so well that you're gonna run out of stardist!

I have had that button place on my list of places to go in NY, along with a ribbon store - but I never seem to get there. I have buttons from my mom and grandmom, and I love looking at the old ones.

allison said...

i am so inspired by the concept of a button collection! i'm starting one right now.

Kay Dennison said...

You are a granny extraordinaire!!!

mama jo said...

that is a great have sooo many....those games bring back wonderful memories..

Ashlee said...

My mom had a button collection and I loved, loved, LOVED going through all of them frequently. I didn't realize there were actual collectors out there though. Love the great button bag idea.

Bonnie B. said...

How fun are you?! And so creative! Lucky grandkids!

bedelia said...

My grandma taught me "Button, Button, who's got the button?" and when my husband and I were team Sunbeams teachers at church we would play it when they were starting to get unmanageable. They loved it. I think I'm gonna make a kit. What a brilliant idea!

Susan Adcox said...

Buttons are also great fun to use to decorate an inexpensive picture frame. The grandkids can help. Use hot glue if they are old enough or Elmer's if they aren't!