Buttons as Reminiscence

How Buttons and Thrift Played a Part in our Lives.

About this Activity

Buttons Were the Subject of One of Our Group Conversations Lately.

Nearly the entire group recounted experiences of saving buttons from old clothes when they were worn out. They had all had a bag of buttons to draw from when their children had lost one from their shirts or trousers.

Thrift was a part of life in those days, and very few usable things were allowed to go to waste. In today's very often throw-away society, we should probably think back to these times and take a leaf out of their book.

We spoke about different kinds of buttons, big, small, round, elongated for coats, fancy shapes.

I brought in a pillowcase which I had sewn lots and lots of buttons onto as part of an art project in college, and the residents were able to feel them and comment on them.

We spoke of the history of buttons, and one person said they had collected buttons as a child. Another lady, Mary, recalled playing card games when she was young. To make it more interesting, instead of using money to play for, they used buttons.

They can also be useful as a sorting activity for people with learning disabilities and dementia (into colors, shapes, etc.). Just be aware that they are small and can be easily swallowed.

Buttons are a fantastic subject to use as a reminiscence activity.

Maria Brady

Click here for more about buttons in our Time Out newsletter article.

Buttons as Reminiscence