“ Brand: Early Learning Centre / Age: 3 Years+ „
We have a charity shop near us that sells brilliant second hand books and toys - partly because they are in such a prime location for people to drop in unwanted items but also they take the view that they are better selling second hand items at a reasonable price that people will pay and getting in money for charity than overcharging and bringing in less. Although my daughter has plenty of new toys, I have also picked up many bargains (of which I have reviewed before) in this shop. One such item I had picked up a while ago and only just brought out over the last month was this ELC play button set, which came in the original screw lid top and at full price costs £6, but I paid £1. It states on the box, that these buttons are suitable for children from age 3 plus, and I can understand why, however, anytime I have these out with my daughter I am with her, and she seems to now be past the stage of putting things in her mouth.
It may be hard to understand what is so educational about a boxful of buttons however, these are not basic buttons. Instead, they are a mix of coloured, different shape buttons that can be stacked, sorted, and threaded, as threading lace is provided, although I think I may have slightly less in my tub that you would get brand new. Not such a problem at the moment, as this is the one feature that my daughter is unable to do, but I wil have to source other threading lace when she shows signs of being able to thread these buttons onto lace/string.
Once my daughter discovered that these buttons could be stacked, she was hooked, and I would say they are currently getting played with at least once per day. Sometimes, she uses them as biscuits when she is playing with her tea set and gives a biscuit ie one of these buttons, to each teddy/doll. Mostly however, she sorts them into shapes - triangles, squares, stars etc. No matter what the shape, they can be stacked on top of each other, which is brilliant, but she usually stacks them in their shape families first. It is possible to sort or stack according to colour, although this isn't something my daughter does as often, although she knows all her colours. She often likes to stack the buttons to see how tall a tower she can make. The possibilities are lengthy!
All in all, for the price I paid, but to be honest, I would happily pay the full price £6 for this tub of play buttons, these are a great purchase. I also know that there is more educational value when my daughter becomes able to thread these shapes as well, as this will help hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. For the moment the stacking and sorting value that she gets from this is very educational in my opinion and very valuable and even though she is only two, these are great for keeping her busy and extending her concentration.
When my eldest son was 2, i was looking for simple activities that i could do with him at home that would challenge him, but not be too messy as i also had a young baby. This activity set from the early learning centre seemed ideal. At the time, i think it was around £5 which seemed quite a bit to pay, but as usual from the early learning centre the price is going towards you getting a well made toy that will last. This set is aimed at 3-6 year olds, but as i said earlier, we bought this when he was 2, and may find we get bored before we get to 6, but it is still providing fun at 4.
This set is quite simple in design. There are 50 buttons in total, varying in design. There are different shapes such as triangles, squares, circles and stars. There are also different colours from yellow, to green to orange to blue. The set is finished off with 5 different laces. These are a bit like shoe laces but don't have that hard plastic bit on the end. They are finished somehow though so that they don't fray as you are using them.
Each button has a section in the middle that is indented, so that you can make a little tower of the different coloured buttons by pushing them together. This is one of the earliest games that we managed when my son was just 2 years old. We also looked at shape recognition and colour recognition. E.g. can you find me a blue one. Which one is a star? This has helped to make my son well aware of all colours and shapes before he started nursery school.
As he has got bigger we have moved onto using the laces provided to thread the buttons on, and this has helped to make his pincer grip very developed. Motor control is an important skill now he is learning how to write, and i am sure this toy has helped him. We are now looking at trying to make patterns when we do threading. All orange, or repeat a pattern of so many colours. Threading is quite tricky as the holes are not much bigger than the thickness of the string, and there is not a hole in the middle of each button. It is still difficult enough to be challenging after a while of practising.
When we have been bored of threading or stacking or sorting, we have also found these are good when you are pretending to play shop. You can pretend they are different coins. You can also put them in the tub to make a shaker. The only limit to our play is our imagination.
We don't get this toy out every day, but i have found it has been used a lot by my two kids, and apart from a few buttons being misplaced, then it is showing no sign of wear in the two years we have owned it. The buttons are sufficiently large that i have let the youngest play with it at 1 as i have not been worried he would swallow the buttons.
This is a great little set. An ideal toy to play with to help your children develop without making it seem like a learning toy. Who would have thought you could get so much out of such a simple activity? I highly recommend this set to keep your little ones occupied.
My crazy toddler has a neverending supply of energy and won't sit still for more than five seconds, so with this in mind we were looking for a cheap, new, 'grown-up' toy that would help her learn perseverance and patience, no mean feat!
I often buy toys from the Early Learning Centre as I have found that despite being pricier than some other toy shops, their products last well and stand the test of time, so I was really pleased when a friend told me about these play buttons for the bargain price of £6.
Apparantly her two-year old daughter loved them so much that she was recommending them to everyone she knew, so with that kind of praise I snapped them up in a mini online spree.
The play buttons come in a chunky, lime green plastic tub with a purple lid and comprise of 50 buttons in the shape of hexagons, circles, squares, stars and triangles. They all have holes in them, just like real buttons except some have only one hole and others have up to five, making them a little interesting and intriguing.
There are also four laces in the tub and these are used to thread the buttons.
As soon as my 20-month old daughter saw these she knew they were quite complex and this held her attention initially. I tied a knot at the end of the lace and threaded a series of buttons on and let her shake it like a musical instrument. She absolutely loved this and found the jingle jangle sound hilarious!
It is unheard of for my little whirlwind to sit still and focus her attention on something other than books for more than a few minutes, but this simple idea held her captivated and she watched intently as I showed her how to thread the buttons onto the string.
We have had these buttons a week or so now and she brings them to me most days and enjoys shaking the tub and making noise, as well as taking all the buttons out one by one before shouting 'back' in a stern voice, and then yep you guessed it, she puts them all back with great care, inspecting them along the way.
She knows how to thread the buttons and has tried to do it herself but without much success yet - she prefers me to do it as its quicker and at the moment that's fine by me as she gets so much enjoyment from watching me.
Another bonus is that these buttons all stack up on top of each other but this is difficult for young children to do.
I can't speak highly enough about this great toy as it ticks a lot of boxes for me - it keeps my daughter amused for at least ten minutes, is educational, teaches shapes and introduces problem-solving skills to boot. I also think these buttons would make a fantastic present as they are within an affordable budget and are quirky and unusual.
The buttons are aimed at 3-6 year olds but I would say toddlers over 18-months would get some benefit from them, once they are supervised to avoid them putting them in their mouths. As for the upper age limit, every adult who comes to our house likes playing with these. It's quite therapeutic!
The only problem I have is that I think there should be more laces included as they are very easy to lose, however you could easily make your own so its not a big deal.
ELC Play Buttons
Although I tend to always look elsewhere before purchasing at the Early Learning Centre due to price differences, one thing I can say about ELC is that they bring out some great educational toys and sometimes paying that little bit more is well worth it.
The play buttons come in a rounded plastic container and includes 50 differently shaped 'buttons' each with a different amount of holes in and all different colours. The hole numbers range from 1 to 5 with 5 different colours with the shapes including circles, stars, triangles, squares and hexagons. Also within this set are four laces in which the child can thread through the button holes.
There are many different things in which can be played with this set and although it states 3-5 years I think that it is suitable from two as long as your child has grown out of the putting things in the mouth stage. The different aspects of play grow with the childs age and learning. Play ideas include;
Threading the lace through the buttons - My little one learnt how to do this at two and loves putting all the different colours on the laces. We have even taken this set out for a meal though we don't take all 50 buttons when we go out as they do tend to go everywhere!
Colours, Shapes and Numbers - My little one has started learning her shapes, colours and numbers though the latter is harder as this part is via the amount of holes in the buttons.
Stacking - All the buttons stack easily on top of each other with a click. I say easily though little hands may struggle with this.
There are also many other inventive games you can play with this such as the game I played with football cards in the candy stick boxes when I was younger - throw one and then try to get another one on top of it to win it. This game not only offers educational value but also creative play which is great!
For £6.00, this toy may not look much at first though it is an amazing educational buy as long as you do not mind a little mess!
I bought these for my two children aged 2 and 3 years. They were a small present that we bought after my husband and I had a weekend away. I have an extensive button collection, which the children love playing with, but at the moment the 2 year old is a bit young for real buttons. Besides I am a bit precious with my vintage buttons!
We wanted to buy something that would be both educational, fun and suitable for both children to play with together. At the moment we are trying hard to get them to play nicely together without arguing. I had read a review by another member and thought that the play buttons would fit the bill!
There are 50 buttons, they are brightly coloured and come in different shapes. There are stars, circles,squares, triangles, and hexagons. There are between 1 - 5 holes in each button. They are a good size for little children, and the colours are very attractive.
Both children were excited when they were received the buttons and started to play straight away. The eldest was able to thread the buttons easily, but it is quite difficult for the younger child so he needs some help with this activity.
Both children are able to stack the buttons, and enjoy sorting them too. It is an activity they can play together when I am busy, or I can join in. if I am playing with the children then we are able to talk about the shapes and colours. There's also plenty of opportunity for counting and numeracy skills.
The buttons were £6, which is a fair price as there are plenty of buttons and laces in the tub. As there are 50 buttons, when they are playing together they still get enough buttons each if they start to argue too much. I have often found them playing nicely with the buttons, though after a while it gets a bit silly and they end up strewn all over the room! I think they will get plenty of use, as the children love playing with them. They will hopefully be used for a while, and we can use them as counters for maths work when they are older.
The Early Learning Centre is a British chain of shops selling toys for young children. It was originally set up as a mail order company in 1974 and by 1980 it had 10 shops - now it has 215 stores in the UK and 80 international stores in 19 countries.
The good thing about these shops is your child can play with the toys in the shop although I still find myself telling them not to touch etc.
They have their own website which you can order from (www.elc.co.uk) and they also take orders over the telephone on 08705 352 352.
When my eldest daughter was little she had some play buttons from the Early Learning Centre. I remember her playing with them and having fun as well as them helping to develop motor skills. So I decided to look out for them for my youngest, I eventually found them when we were on holiday, so I bought a tub.
The picture dooyoo is showing is exactly how they look. Inside the tub there are 50 buttons of different shapes and colours. The shapes are circles, stars, triangles, squares and hexagons. The colours are red, yellow, orange, blue and green. Each button has 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 holes in, there are also laces which can be threaded through the holes. There are 4 laces in our tub but I don't know if there were more and we have lost a couple.
The first time we opened the tub for my daughter was when we went out for a meal on holiday (I like to take something to keep them occupied whilst we are waiting etc), she seemed to like them. We showed her how to stack them and how to thread the laces (she still hasn't quite mastered this). This kept her occupied all night even when we went and played bingo.
Now she likes to count them and tell us the shapes and colours. She does attempt to thread them.
On the tub it tells us that these stimulate the senses and aid fine motor skills. It also says they are 'step 2' preparing for school and the numeracy box is ticked. I believe the communication and words box should also be ticked. I believe this because my daughter now knows the shape hexagon and I would never have thought about teaching her that shape at this age. Also we have conversations about when they are threaded on the lace and if they look like a snake. (I asked her that and she thought I was mad)
It says they are suitable for ages 3-6 years but I think they are good before this age we bought these a couple of weeks before her 2nd birthday and she has used/played with them lots. It might say from 3 because young children put things in their mouths and can choke on them althought the buttons are a fair size; so it could be the laces. We play with the buttons together so she is never left to play with them alone. Although we do have to make sure that they all end up back in the tub.
The cost of the buttons is £6 and I think that is value for money, my daughter has fun with them and seems to have more concentration when we are playing with these.
Well worth the £6.