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).

Paper Roll Caterpillar

Caterpillar shape glued

Using the pencil and the ruler, mark the toilet roll every 2 inches and draw around the tube. These will be cutting lines we will use to create the paper roll caterpillar body.

Take the scissors and cut around the marks you have made so that you are left with several short tubes.

Paint the tubes both on the inside and outside, it is more effective if you paint the outside a different color to the inside.

Glue the tubes to each other, end to end, putting one tube aside to use for the head later.

Glue the head tube on the top of the last tube in the chain.

Using the glue, stick the two wiggle eyes on the head.

Draw a mouth just below the wiggle eyes.

Using the felt or the pipe cleaners, cut two short pieces and stick onto the top of the head to make antenna.

Cut two more pieces for each body section the caterpillar has and stick these onto the bottom to create legs.

Felt Bird

The first step is to cut all the shapes out of the felt. Using a pencil, draw the shapes onto the felt so that you know where to cut. You will need two of each the bird’s body, eyes, wings, and beak.

The bird body can be as detailed or as simple as you would like. For the wings, cut out two heart shapes, and for the beak, two small triangles. For the eyes cut two slightly larger circles out of white felt and two smaller circle out of black felt.

Once all the pieces have been drawn and cut, take a few cotton balls and lay them on top of one of the body pieces.

Place some glue all around the edge of the bird shape and stick the other body piece on top, pressing around the edges so that the cotton balls are in the middle, creating stuffing.

Stick the two wing shapes on either side of the body.

On the head of the bird, first stick a white circle on each side of the head, then on top of this, stick the black circles.

Take the beak shapes and stick these on the front of the bird. You will need to stick the two beak pieces to each other as well as the head of the bird.

Feel the Turkey

On brown contraction paper, draw the turkey’s body.

On different colors construction paper draw 6-7 turkey feathers.

Place a variety of materials with different textures on the table. I used cotton balls, Velcro, buttons, felt, dry beans, googly eyes, and feathers.

Ask the child to cut the turkey’s body and feathers. Then, have him glue the feathers to the back of the body. You can also let the child draw the turkey’s face on.

Present the child with different materials. Talk about the different textures (soft, smooth, rough, ticklish, etc.). Ask the child to glue a few pieces from each material on each of the turkey’s feathers.

You can use this turkey as a seasonal tactile board. Gobble, Gobble!