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Party Games for Children

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Button, Button!

"Button, button, who has the button?" is the proverbial question passed down through generations of children who fondly remember this fun parlor game. Originating in colonial times, this game made use of a commodity common enough to be in every home, but precious enough to be prized.

Arrange all the children in a line, either seated or standing. Select one to be the "seamstress" or "tailor". She or he stands before the line of players. A button or a coin is handed to the player at one end of the line. He holds it in hands that are cupped and closed. She holds her hands over the hands of the next player in line whose hands are cupped in a similar fashion. She may drop the button into the next player's hands or she may not. Now the next player goes through the same procedure all the way down the line to the last player. If the button does not get passed on, then the remaining players merely pretend to pass the button. Throughout this procedure the seamstress closely watches the passing. Since the hands are cupped and held together it will be difficult to discern where the button actually stopped.

When the procedure reaches the end of the line. The last player in line asks the seamstress, "Button, Button, who has the button?" The seamstress then guesses. If she guesses correctly, she gets to keep the button. If she guesses incorrectly, she sits at the end of the line and the player at the head of the line becomes the seamstress.

There are many ways to associate this game with prizes. Collected buttons may be traded for a bag or present. Alternatively, the "button" itself might be the prize.

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