Teach Kids Buttoning Skills with a DIY dressing board
(we received ours from www.craftprojectideas.com)
in an “x”. This is a great real-life skill activity for older kids. Threading a the large needle is a nice fine motor task and the project is so simple that it’s a great beginner sewing activity for kids.
. After cutting the holes with scissors, my preschooler practiced pulling the foam buttons through the holes. Using paper to practice is a real workout for little fingers as the paper will tear with too much force. The point for this part of the activity is to practice pushing the button through the hole and pulling it out. The paper is a great reminder that the button slides through the button hole easily when both hands are working together in a coordinated manner.
button holes just a bit longer than you think you need to for kids who are working on buttoning skills. You can also cut the hole wider for easier buttoning. This is one way to grade the activity for kids who need help learning how to button their clothes.
- Lay the fabric on the child’s lap as a beginner task. This is a good way for the child to see what they are doing as their hands are working together on the buttons.
- NEXT, lay the fabric on the child’s lap, BUT position it so that it would be if the child were buttoning a coat on their body. Make sure the buttons are on the child’s lap and not on their truck for easier accessibility and success.
- THEN, position the buttoning activity up higher on the child’s trunk to simulate buttoning a shirt or coat on the child.
- Finally, move on to teaching buttoning with real-life articles of clothing.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.