Button Sorting Cups

Button Sorting Cups

When I visit just about any kind of store, I love strolling down the clearance isle. On a recent trip to the craft store I did just that and found several packages of Big Plastic Buttons (affiliate link). While I had no idea what I would use them for, I just had to get them – after all, they were on clearance!ake and Toss Bowls

It didn’t take me long to figure out what to do with them.  Awhile back, I made some Color Sorting and Matching Activities for Toddlers. Looking at those sitting on a shelf in my craft room motivated me to do something similar with these buttons.

The first thing I did was visit my local Walmart and bought some colorful bowls. I got these Take & Toss Toddler Bowls with Lids (affiliate link) because the colors matched the button colors so well. The only problem I ran into was that I had to buy 2 packages of the bowls because the lids were different colors than the bowls.

Once I got home, I grabbed a utility knife and a cutting mat. I cut a small opening in each of the lids. Make sure the hole is just big enough to slip a button in to.

Cut button hole in bowl lid

That is all you need to do to make the button sorting cups.  Snap the lids onto the bowls. Now you can show your child how to slip the buttons into each cup.  Encourage the child to match the color of the buttons to the matching color cup.  They can also practice counting as they slip each button into a cup.

finished button sorting bowls

Disclosure: As noted above, this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

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29 comments for “Button Sorting Cups

  1. 11/16/2013 at 11:48 pm

    This is just so cute and brilliant (and simple too)! Can’t wait to make our own. My girls will love this. Thanks!

  2. 11/19/2013 at 4:06 pm

    Wow this is great!!! Going to share it on our Facebook page

  3. 12/29/2013 at 2:18 pm

    My favorite type of toy is one I can make myself for my son! I made something similar with a metal formula can and baby food lids and he loves it. As he gets older, I would love to make this for him – and we already have those little tupperwares! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  4. Faye
    02/10/2014 at 10:51 am

    I purchased the materials and made this over the weekend for the children in my home daycare. It was a big hit! Not only is this a sorting game, but it encourages back and forth communication, working cooperatively with a peer, and self-correcting skills. The children also had opportunities to reset their play by taking off the lids and starting over. Since I work with multi-age groups, this activity is great when paring a younger child with an older or more skilled child.

    I purchased 2 bags of the Favorite Findings Big Bag of Buttons instead, which is great if you want to add in the size skill, but now I have purple and light blue buttons left over as well as a lot of very small buttons. Oh well, I will find another use for them 🙂 I actually like the buttons that used instead, but noticed that I would have to buy multiple packages especially since they only include one green in each pack :-/ That I did not understand.

    Thank you so much for sharing this activity.

  5. 05/13/2014 at 2:34 pm

    Cute idea. I wish I had seen this when my daughter was a little younger. Although, she would probably still enjoy the activity at four years old.

  6. 09/09/2014 at 3:16 pm

    what a lovely idea! A colorful and interesting activity for kids to let them calm down after some jumpy and wild playing outside 🙂

  7. MamaToMany
    01/25/2015 at 7:04 am

    This is genius!!!
    I’m just hoping I don’t have to spend am arm & leg to buy all the ‘right’ stuff 😉
    I know for a fact that my 3yr old will like this- but I laugh when I realize that my 5 & 7 yr olds will likely try to take over because it’s so cute!
    I pinned this under my board “Keep kids busy over the summer!” because I know this will be one of those activities that she will work on for hours! Thank you SO much for helping this full-time working (from home), full-time mom find something that will be so perfect– & educational!!!- for my little one who demands sooooo much attention 😉 😉

    • 01/25/2015 at 1:54 pm

      My biggest tip, as far as saving money goes, is to watch for deals on the buttons! If you have a JoAnns near year, they usually have good coupons and large bags or the buttons! 🙂

  8. Stefanie
    02/12/2015 at 10:59 pm

    Great idea! Now where did you find the yellow cup. The packs I found only had the red, orange, green, blue cups.

    • 02/14/2015 at 11:30 am

      Hi Stefanie, I bought mine at Walmart!

  9. 04/07/2015 at 8:49 am

    Nice idea but why do we need to cut the lids and make such specific cups. We can anyways give them the colored cups without lids too, won’t that help? Just asking.

    • 04/07/2015 at 12:04 pm

      Giving them the cups without the lids would work too… The reason I cut the holes in the lids were to give the kids the opportunity to work on their fine motor skills also! 🙂 Either way will work.

  10. 07/19/2015 at 8:22 pm

    Made these up for my daycare kids,thay really enjoyed them,thanks so much.

  11. Adriana Van Duyvendyk
    07/19/2015 at 11:46 pm

    I am going to make this craft for my seniors who have Dementia. This makes a great eye and hand coordination exercise and it will be fun to talk about buttons, colours, etc. Thank you for the great idea.

  12. Sarah
    11/09/2015 at 8:09 am

    I have a set of buttons I bought for a preschool co-op class that would be perfect for this. I bought them at Walmart, and they are bright colors like these (I think they have the primary and secondary colors, although I need to dig them out to check), but they’re also in different shapes and sizes. Large green triangle, small green triangle. Large blue square, small blue square, etc. That makes me think of an interesting add-on activity… using extra lids or bowls, drawing a shape on each lid, and having the child match *shape* instead of color. Could be a good way to extend the activity once it becomes a bit too easy.

  13. Wynona
    03/23/2016 at 3:24 pm

    I used a similar idea when I worked with a special needs children. I used an empty clear peanut butter jar with extra lids. Each lid had a different sized slot cut into it for use as the child’s abilities increased. We collected milk jug lids of various colors for color sorting and then the child could put the lids through the slotted lid afixed to the jar. The children also practiced removing the lid from and reattaching the lid to to jar.

    • 03/28/2016 at 7:56 am

      Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  14. Stephanie
    04/09/2016 at 2:10 pm

    Great idea! Where did you find the buttons!

    • 04/09/2016 at 7:43 pm

      I found mine at JoAnn Fabrics but I also share a link to find them on Amazon! 🙂

  15. Angelina Martinez
    12/03/2016 at 11:20 am

    is fantastic i like it!

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