Recipe for Fun!
A good old-fashioned game of Button, Button Who’s Got the Button is perfect when you are looking for a game that people of all ages can play. Because the game is played with all the players seated in a circle, it also works well for players with limited physical abilities.
Can you play Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button without a button? Yes! When this game originated in the 19th century, buttons were common household objects. Not so anymore. If you don’t have a button on hand, the game works just as well when a small toy or other household object is substituted for the button. Just make sure the object can be hidden in the palm of the smallest player’s hand.
Tip for playing the Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button game: Choose an older player to go first. Younger children will carefully watch and model their turn as “it” based on the first player’s behavior.
How to play Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button:
- Arrange all players in a circle.
- Designate one player as “It” and give them the button.
- All players in the circle put out their right arm and open their hand, palm up.
- The player who is It goes around the circle and touches the palm of each player.
- Each player closes their palm quickly after the person who is It touches it.
- The player who is It drops the button surreptitiously in the palm of one of the players.
- The person who is It sits back in their place and the group chants “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?”
- Starting with the player to the right of It, each player takes a turn guessing who has the button. The guess is framed as “(FIRST NAME) has got the button!”
- Once the player with the button is guessed, that round is over.
- The player who was holding the button now takes a turn as It.
Is there a limit to how many players you need for Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button? No. In fact, the more players you have the better. Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button is the perfect game for scout troops, youth groups, birthday parties and school groups.
Twists on the Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button game: If the age and abilities of the players allow, you can make the game more difficult by having all players close their eyes while the player who is It goes around the circle. Another version has the person who is It stand at the center of the circle and count to 10 with their eyes closed. The other players pass the button around the circle behind their backs. When It reached the count of 10, they guess which player is holding the button.
What do kids learn from a game of Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button? All communication isn’t verbal and Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button is a great way for kids to build nonverbal communication skills. Every player has to read the facial expressions and body language of the other players to deduce who has got the button. It’s also a great game for exercising emotional skills. Children have to learn to suppress their excitement if the button lands in their hand and wait patiently for their turn - even if they are sure they know which player has the button.