Buttoning made easy! Teach your kiddo how to with this fun activity
Has your child ever rushed to select their own clothes, managed to triumphantly navigate all the neck and arm holes, only to stop in agitation when it comes to buttoning? — This happens with most toddlers!
While children pick up many basic life skills with ease, buttoning may take some extra effort. This is because to button, they have to be able to perform separate tasks with each hand and coordinate both hands together. They also need a good pincer grasp, finger strength, and overall hand strength.
In short, buttoning requires solid visual motor skills and motor planning as well as a familiarity with sequence. So how can you help your child learn this?
From practicing with large buttons to learning unbuttoning first, there are many simple ways to break it down. This week's Co-Create activity is also one such enjoyable way to get comfortable with this important life skill!
Benefits of the Button Worm
This activity is called Button Worm. It is perfect for toddlers just learning alphabets and working on their fine motor skills as it offers them a number of benefits.
1. Improves buttoning skill: Moving the ribbon with the button through the slits in the felt apples will help your child get comfortable with buttoning.
2. Helps understand repetitions: Pulling the ribbon in and out of the slits with different apples will teach them how to repeat a motion and master it.
3. Strengthens spelling: Our own names are one of the first things we all learn to spell. This fun activity will help your child easily spell theirs.
4. Hones problem solving: Matching the colours of the apples according to the pattern cards and picking apples that form their name will hone your child’s problem solving abilities.
5. Promotes bilateral coordination: Working with both hands to lace through the apples will strengthen their bilateral coordination.
6. Builds hand-eye coordination: Inserting the ribbon into each thin slits with precision will sharpen their hand-eye coordination.
7. Familiarizes with left to right sequence: Working from left to right to create their name will introduce them to direction and left to right sequence.
8. Improves concentration: Creating a button worm with their name will take a while. Staying with the game and completing it will improve your child’s focus and concentration skills.
Creating the Button Worm
This activity can be enjoyed by children between 3 to 6 years.
1. Coloured ribbon of about 20 cm
2. 2 medium-sized buttons
3. Felt sheets of 2 colours (or old cloth cuttings)
4. A pair of scissors
5. A permanent marker
6. A cardboard knife
How to create this activity:
1. Cut the felt sheets in the shape of apples.
2. Make two vertical grooves in the apples using a cardboard knife.
3. Tie buttons on both ends of the ribbon.
4. Make the pattern sequence cards as shown in images.
5. Write the letters of your child's name on the felt sheet apples.
How to play with the Button Worm
This is a simple lacing game where your child has to pass the ribbon through the apple grooves. You can start by familiarizing them with the lacing movement. Then ask them to pick the apples that spell their name and string it in the right order.
Once they’ve gotten hold of the basics, introduce the pattern cards and ask them to pick apples based on the colour combinations on the card. As they get better at lacing, you could even extend the game to include more colours and their full name. Make it more of a challenge by timing them and encouraging them to beat their previous score!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this activity. If you would like to share your experience playing with this board, tag us at #CoCreatewithshumee. Take care and stay safe!
Vidushi is a DIY blogger, storyteller, and an author. For more such activities, you can follow her @iracreativeengine on Instagram.