When I was little, my mother had a special box, about the size of an oatmeal canister, full of buttons. She had been adding to it for years, snipping buttons off of worn out clothing, and picking up buttons at estate sales. She used them for sewing, and craft projects, and to keep me occupied when she had work to be done, that required quiet.
I loved button box. There was such an interesting variety of jeweled, and stamped, and fabric covered buttons. Some with four holes, some with two, and some with hooks on the back. They were perfect for sorting, and for sparking the imagination.
So, when our trip home was delayed by an unexpected west coast snow storm (ironically, it's still sunny, dry, and snowless at home in Montana), Grandma suggested pulling out the button box, to keep the couped up children occupied. Secretly thrilled at the prospect of seeing the old box again, I was a disappointed to find out it's now a bunch of button filled Ziploc bags.
But the children didn't know the difference, and spent several hours, sorting, stringing, and playing with the buttons. Naturally, when Mother offered to send a bunch of the buttons home with us, I was pretty quick to scoop them up, and into my suitcase. Now all I have to do, is find a really cool box to put them into when we get home.
It's great to be a homeschooler.