Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flowers for Button Practice

I made this little button practice craft for Natalie about 9 months ago and she wasn't  interested in it.  But recently, if I am wearing a certain sweater with buttons, she does them all up on me.  So, yesterday I pulled this back out.  Natalie LOVED it.  Not only did she think it was pretty, but she was *so* proud of herself for doing it. 

What You Need to Make Yours Look Like Ours:
  • Seven pieces of felt = 1 full for background, green for stems, five different colors for flowers. 
  • Five big buttons of different colors.
  • Thread or embroidery floss.  I used green and then a different color for each button.  
  • Scissors
  • Glue or pins
Even if you don't have any materials in your home already, this craft only costs about $7, most of which is the cost of the buttons.  

What to Do:
  1. Cut out the pieces.  I made the stems different lengths to make it more fun and so that the flowers wouldn't overlap.  The flowers I free hand drew and then cut out.  
  2. Sew the stems to the background.  I glued it in place first to see if that would hold on its own.  While I didn't feel it was enough on its own, it did prevent me from having to pin the stems in place.  
  3. Place a flower at the top of a stem and find the center.  Mark that on the background.  Repeat for all five stems.  
  4. Measure the button against the flowers and cut the slit.  
  5. Sew the buttons on to the background.  Test that the button will slide easily on to the flower once attached.  
  • Read a book about flowers.
    • Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
    • Counting in the Garden by Kim Parker
    • The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
    • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
    • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • Count the flowers.  Do simple addition and subtraction as you add and remove buttons.  ("You put on two buttons.  How many do you have if we add one more?"  or "Let's take off two flowers and see how many buttons are free.")
  • Color identification.  You could also choose to have the button and flower match for a color matching activity.  You could make a flower for each of the major colors and write (or stitch if you are super crafty) the name of the color right on the flower. 
  • Practice patterns.  You could draw a pattern for your child to copy or continue.
  • Plant some seeds or seedlings.  
  • Visit a florist or greenhouse and look at all the flowers.  (While there you could pick out the seeds or seedlings to plant!)  If that is out of the way, you could even just swing by the flowers in your local grocery store.  
  • If its not winter, go for a walk and look for flowers outside. 
  • Retice some nursery rhymes:  Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; Roses are Red; Lavender's Blue.

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