Buttoning Board

Buttoning is a fun fine motor skill to work on! It is more motivating when it involves our children’s favorite characters; in this case, Noodle & Pals from Super Simple Songs on YouTube!

Here, we created peek-a-boo buttoning boards that progressed from easy to more challenging buttoning skills.

Preparation:

Step 1: Cut up a piece of cardboard of your desired size (Our cardboard is the blue & white checkered print in the photo).

Step 2: Cut felt to your desired size. Ensure there will be enough overlap between the felt pages when you close the buttoning board.

Step 3: Glue the edge of the felt to the edges of the backside of the cardboard.

Step 4: Glue/sew the buttons on one side of one of the felt pages.

Step 5: Cut out slits to match the sizes of your buttons on the other felt page.

Step 6: Optional – take a marker & outline the edges of the button openings (the slits you just cut), so it makes it easier to visually identify the location of the buttonhole opening.

Step 7: Print, cut & glue on your child’s favorite character at the top of the cardboard sheet.

Tips and Grading Options:

Warm-Ups:

  1. Insert popsicle sticks through slits on a coffee cup lid.
  2. Insert coins into piggy banks.
  3. Pick out buttons from playdough.

To make it easier:

  1. Start with fewer buttons.
  2. Create larger buttoning hole openings.
  3. Highlight the buttoning hole openings by drawing around them (such as the black markings in the photo).
  4. Use larger buttons.
  5. Demonstrate how to button & use simple language.

To make it more challenging:

  1. Increase the number of buttons.
  2. Create smaller buttoning hole openings.
  3. Use smaller buttons.
  4. Use fabric with busy patterns.
  5. Use fabric with flimsier material.

As always, ensure safety in all activities. Provide assistance and supervision as needed.

Enjoy!

Button The Shapes

For this activity, you will first need to create the button container using plastic containers with lids. Use the scissors to pierce a hole in the lid.

Take one button and insert a 3-inch pipe cleaner through 2 of the button holes.

Insert each edge of the pipe cleaner through the lid hole that you pierced and twist the 2 edges together on the bottom of the lid. This will hold the button in place on the lid.

Close the container with the lid so the button is at the top of the container.

Using a marker, mark a shape on the container.

Cut out pieces of felt in the same shapes that you marked the containers with. You can also use fabric for this.

Using the scissors, cut holes in the middle of each shape.

Provide the child with the button containers and the felt shapes. Ask the child to sort the felt pieces and button them on the right container marked with the matching shape.

For grading, you can use different sized buttons or you can also use one container with no marked shape and have the child follow a pattern from a visual model (i.e. button a circle, a triangle, and a rectangle in a repeated order).

Pizza Party

Preparation:

Retrieve the following items:

  1. Homemade playdough
  2. Red paint
  3. Spoon
  4. Topping (i.e. leaves, buttons, pompoms, etc.)

Play:

Have the child:

  1. Roll the playdough into a ball (encourage the child to use both hands when rolling the dough to work on bilateral coordination).
  2. Flat the ball to create the base of the pizza.
  3. Smear the red paint (i.e. “pizza sauce”) with a spoon or with their finger.
  4. Tear up tiny dough pieces to create the cheese.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese and toppings on the pizza.
  6. Garnish with leaves.

Enjoy playing with this pretend pizza!

Tip: After you are finished playing with the pretend pizza, fold it in half and use the fork to press down the edges to make a pretend empanada!

 

DIY Abacus Counting Frame (Rack Rack)

This activity provides many benefits while creating the abacus and while playing with the finished product.

To create the abacus:

Use 2 toilet paper rolls or cut a paper towel roll in half.

Use the pencil to mark and puncture equal height dots on each paper roll. The pipe cleaners will be attached there.

Cut the pipe cleaners to be equal length. Each one should be about 6 inches in length.

Insert one side of the pipe cleaner to the top hole on the paper roll.

Put 10 beads on the 1st pipe cleaner, and repeat these last 2 steps until you put all the pipe cleaners in the holes, and string all the pipe cleaners.

Insert the other end of the pipe cleaner into the 2nd paper roll.

Let your child be a part of putting this together to promote pincer grasp, bilateral hand use, and eye-hand coordination.

Don’t have pipe cleaners? Use a string instead.

Don’t have beads? Use Cheerios or buttons.

While playing with the abacus, the child gets to practice these skills as well.

Clothespins Butterfly

ClothespinsButterfly-front

Body Shape

Take one of your clothespins and paint it with colors. This will be the butterfly body.

Wings

To make the wings, take some colored construction paper and fold it in half.

Draw a pair of wings on the folded side of the paper, and cut around them using the scissors.

Unfold the wings and you will have two sets that are exactly the same.

Draw colorful lines and patterns over the wings.

Assemble Everything Together

Pinch open the clothes peg and glue the wings onto the top prong.

It is best to clip the clothes peg onto something so that it doesn’t get glued shut.

Decorate the body of the butterfly with your buttons and beads, and stick the googly eyes onto the top of the peg.