String, A Button, and Grandma #sol20

It was an especially long and boring day at Grandma’s house.

“Grandma, I’m soooooooo borrrrred,” I whined as I hung upside down from the couch. “There is nothing to do!”

I heard Grandma sigh as she walked into the living room. She placed her dish towel on the coffee table and began to check off a list of activities on her fingers.

“Have you looked through the picture albums, looked through the card box, played with my jewelry, colored in your coloring book, and played outside?” I shook my head yes. “Well, then, I guess it is time for something special.”

I sat up from my upside down position so quickly that I nearly fell onto the floor!

She brought out her button tin and a bundle of string. She cut off a lengthy piece of string.

“Tracy, go through those buttons and pick out a nice large one with two button holes.” She handed me the large colorful tin. It was nearly full. It would take me forever to find a button!

With great curiosity, I rummaged through the tin. There were buttons of all sizes, shapes, colors, and styles! It would be hard to choose only one. I finally settled on a large, brown button with only two holes.

“Ah, yes,” Grandma said as I handed it to her. “This button from my old coat will work nicely.”

She strung the button onto one end of the string. Then she took the other end of the string and threaded it through the second hole. She tied the two ends together and handed it to me. I just looked at her, puzzled.

“What do I do with this?” I asked.

She said, “That is what the pioneer children used to play with.”

Seriously, that explanation did not help.

She then showed me how to hold both ends of the string loop and swing the button in a circular pattern to wind the string. Next, she instructed me on how to pull and relax the string so that the button began to spin. Back and forth I pulled and relaxed. The string would twist one way and then the other. The button spun and spun, while the whole thing whirred loudly.

I was entranced.

“Thank you, Grandma!”

With a quick hug, she grabbed her dish towel from the coffee table and headed back into the kitchen.

Boredom conquered…at least for a little while!



  1. Ah, what a grandma. I do know how to make these, but I had forgotten. I want to remember that the next time I have a bored child over! Well told memory, Tracy.



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