Have several types of buttons out and available for children to look at. Then have children sort the buttons according to certain attributes. For example, they could put all the buttons with two holes in a pile and all the buttons with four holes in another. You can also sort by color for younger kids or smallest to largest.
Trace a shirt pattern onto a piece of paper. Program each shirt with a number (1-5).
Have the children place the correct number of buttons onto the shirt.
We’ve been calling these “Button Bracelets” I collected a bunch of old long-sleeved shirts, and large (1-inch)buttons. I cut the sleeves off the shirts, and then cut the sleeves up into 3-inch strips, so that I had many fabric “circles”. Each circle was cut to make a strip, and a button was sewn on one end (around 1 inch from the end). I cut a large buttonhole at the other end. The children take the button bracelet strips from the bin, and work the button through the buttonhole to make their bracelets. They will spend a long time at this- buttoning and unbuttoning, buttoning strips to each other to make longer strips, patterning, counting how many bracelets they have made, getting wonderful fine-motor exercise, and learning an important self-help skill!