The following activity is appropriate for toddlers and children that are at or above a pre-school developmental level. Always provide the right amount of assistance*
Finally got around to making these cute button chains! I had re-posted this activity on my Instagram from "A Crafty Living" and I had been meaning to make them myself for a while in order to try them out with my kids. However, life happens when you are working full-time as a pediatric occupational therapist and trying to run a blog at the same time.
Buttoning is an example of a fine-motor skill. These button chains are such a great activity to stimulate the development of fine-motor coordination and promote independent living skills. Most of the kids that I see that come to occupational therapy to work on their fine-motor skills are dependent on their caregivers to help them manipulate buttons during dressing tasks. This activity is perfect for these children to help them learn the skills they need through play. It helps to prepare them to be more functional during their day to day self-care tasks in a fun and motivating way.
To make it more meaningful for your child there's a few things you can do:
Find the materials in your child's favorite colors.
Allow them to come with you to choose and shop for the materials.
Use them to make a snake and add googly eyes at the end.
Use them to make cute bracelets for the girls
Make it a themed activity targeting their interests (e.g. superhero bracelets).
For this craft, I used foam; however, I recommend making them using felt as described in A Crafty Living's blog. Felt will produce a durable and easier to manipulate product.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Buttons (Medium/Large): The size of the buttons will be dependent on the developmental level of your child. Use very large thick buttons for preschoolers.
Foam/ Felt strip
X- Acto knife or scissors
Needle & Thread
In one end of the strip, cut out a button hole
using an X- Acto knife or scissors.
Sew a button in the opposite end of the line.
Button many of these strings together.
* It is important to determine activities are appropriate for your child. Even though a child may be considered to be at a pre-school/school-age level because of their age, this does not necessarily means they have developed all of the skills needed for a task. If your child has some delays, it becomes more important to figure-out what would be a "just-right challenge". If the activity is too challenging, they might get frustrated and lose confidence in the things they can do. Fostering self-esteem should always be at the base of our intentions. On the other hand, if the activity is too easy they might get bored and start acting up.