The Therapeutic Magic of Buttons - Elsa Support

The Therapeutic Magic of Buttons

The therapeutic magic of Buttons, with their tactile nature and varied colour, sizes and  textures, serve as powerful tools to engage the senses and stimulate self-reflection. In ELSA sessions, they can be utilised to create a safe and interactive environment for pupils to explore their emotions, memories, and personal narratives. The simple act of handling buttons can foster a sense of connection, provide a grounding presence, and evoke deep introspection.

As a child, I found pleasure in playing with buttons. Their diverse textures, sizes, and colours captivated my imagination. Sorting them became a delightful pastime, as I arranged them meticulously based on their colours, sizes, and other characteristics.

I would urge you to collect buttons and put them in a pretty jar. You have an instant piece of ELSA kit to hand. Angry or anxious pupils might enjoy counting them for a regulation activity or sorting them by colour, shape  and so on. You can find buttons in charity shops, online – Amazon, you could ask parents or staff to send in buttons. If you are throwing any clothes away then cut off the buttons.



  • Pick out 2 that are the same
  • Pick out 2 that are different
  • Pick out your favourite button. Why do you like it?
  • Pick out a button you don’t like. Why have you chosen that? Why do you dislike it.
  • Pick out a button that represents how you are feeling right now. What is the feeling?
  • Pick out a button to represent your best friend. Why have you chosen that?
  • Think about your strengths and choose a button for each one. Why have you chosen that one? What strength does each one represent?
  • Which button would make you feel calm?
  • If you were to assign an emotion to each button what would those emotions be and why?
  • If these buttons came alive what would they do? What would happen?
  • If you were asked to choose a button to gift somebody which button would you choose and who would you gift it to? Why?
  • Which button represents you? Where would you put that on the table? Which button represents people you trust? Who are they and where would you put them on the table?
  • Choose a button for all the people in your life/family arrange them around the button that is you.  Why is this button right next to you? Why is this button flower shaped? etc.
  • Which button represents your pet? Why did you choose that?
  • Ask the child to select a few buttons and put them in order of which would be…the most helpful button if they were feeling a certain way or in different scenarios which can be as serious or silly as is preferred.
  • Think of a happy memory. Which button would represent that? Why have you chosen that one?
  • Think of a sad memory. Which button would represent that? Why have you chosen that one?
  • Let’s make a story about a button. Which button will you choose? Can you describe who the button represents? What happens to the button? You can add more characters by choosing other buttons.

Buttons are also great for crafting and creating things. Here are a few ideas:

  • Draw out a tree shape and make a family tree
  • Make a button bracelet using different colours to represent memories or emotions
  • Make a button collage to represent their self image. Which buttons would they choose and what does each one mean?
  • Make the initial letter of your name in buttons and sew them on a piece of fabric
  • Make a heart shaped photo frame for a special photo
  • They could design a button with a paper plate
  • They could make flowers out of buttons
  • They could make lots of Christmas themed things such as trees, wreaths, stars etc.

I created a BUTTON IDEAS BOARD on Pinterest here


Other Resources you will love!
i need help ks1 pupil leaflet
i need help ks1 pupil leaflet
i need help ks1 pupil leaflet

I Need Help KS1 Pupil Leaflet – Item 635

This is a 'I Need Help KS1 Pupil Leaflet'. You can find a BUNDLE with 10 of our Pupil leaflets here This leaflet looks at…


Wooden Hearts for display headings – Item 412

These wooden hearts for display headings are brilliant for those calming and natural displays. They would be fab for creating a safe place within the…


Happy Hannah Resource Pack
Happy Hannah Resource Pack
Happy Hannah Resource Pack

Happy Hannah Resource Pack – Item 283

This Happy Hannah Resource Pack is to help children understand the emotion of 'happy' and was requested from a Reception teacher. Happiness is one of…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Lost your password?

Purchase Advanced Credit

What's this?

Choose the value of credit you would like to purchase. Note that the minimum purchase is £10.00

If you would like to purchase an amount not shown, click on Other amount and enter your required amount in the box that appears.