Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Button Jar

A couple years after getting married, my Grammie learned that I was without a button jar.  She couldn't have this and proceeded to give me one of hers.

I treasured it because it came from her but rarely used it- only occasionally searching for a button to match one that was lost.

Babies came along and the jar needed to stay out of sight and reach for safety reasons.  But as the children grew and could be trusted, it started making appearances.

I remember being enamored with my Grammie's button jar when I was young so it didn't come as a surprise when I discovered that it provided hours of intrigue and fun for my own children.

You can dig out your favorites, group them by color or size, find matches, dump them from dump trucks, make button slides, pretend they are jewels, string them into necklaces, or actually use them for sewing projects.

They also come in handy during school when learning how to break large numbers of items into groups for counting...making multiplication not so scary and possibly even a little bit fun.

It's yet another example of how the simple things shine brighter than the complicated and expensive.

Please DO NOT let young children play with or around buttons as they are choking hazard.  Require that older children play with them in a pan or tray (to decrease spillage to the floor) while the littles are napping. Ensure that every last one is picked up by crawling around on the floor like a toddler to find any that may have strayed, make sure the lid is secure and store them out of reach before letting younger children back into the room.
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  1. Collections of buttons are wonderful! I had my mom's, mother-in-law's, and grandfather's button collections and recently gave them to a daughter. They're a great thing to pass on in the family.

  2. This blog post reminds me of an old button that was given to me by a friend of my grandmothers when I was in my early teens. It was cast brass and heavy (for a button) with a single loop on the back and there was a winter scene of people skating cast into the front. I was fascinated with the button and brought it home from my summer vacation to Maine. I had my mother keep it in her jewelry box. Years later, I couldn't find it there. She didn't know what happened to it. When she died I looked high and low for that button in the house, but to no avail. I think it was quite rare. My younger sisters may have found it and lost it.

    I can remember looking through my grandmother's button jars and asking her what some little white buttons were from. She told me they were underwear buttons. That was something I never knew…. that underwear once had buttons.

  3. The contents of your button jar are the same as mine!

  4. I love this...I actually just received my great-grandmother's button jar, which is fascinating to go through (for me and my kids)! So much history and variety there!

  5. It's the giant cardboard boxes, making mud pies, and making something out of nothing that the kids cherish the most. I didn't buy my kids a lot of toys either, but trust me it's the simple things they'll remember. :)

  6. My grandmother kept a button tin that kept us kids occupied for many an hour. I can remember sitting in church stringing button necklaces. :) I keep a tin too. All of my children are grown, and still they sometimes rummage through my button tin looking for just the right button!

  7. We just got one of my mom's button jars to use for sorting for my five year old. And the crawling around on the floor to keep them away from the true!

  8. The memories this post evoked! If we were good my Mother would let my brother and I make chains of buttons and search through her button jar. It had some wonderful treasures in it. Do you remember in the Little House On the Prairie books, they made a toy out of buttons for Baby Carrie!

  9. I inherited my mom's button jar, too. Over the years I've added to it and now the buttons are in a rectangular tin. Like Mr. Kimball talked of above, Mom's button jar contained a gazillion "underwear" buttons! I've often wondered what is so fascinating about all the buttons . . . big ones, small ones, many single ones. The colors, some even sparkle. The simple things (in life) do, indeed, shine brighter than the more complicated and expensive.

  10. I love buttons. How special to have your grandmother's. Noni kept hers in a cookie tin...I think my Aunt must have ended up with them.

  11. My mom had a Cool Whip container of buttons--probably still has it! We loved sorting the buttons and playing with them.


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