It requires fine motor skills to fasten buttons. When children reach 3 or 4 years old, they may be ready to learn the skill of buttoning buttons. Have patience as you help your little one get that button through the buttonhole. Use large buttons and buttonholes as your child learns this skill to avoid unnecessary frustration during the learning period. With encouragement and effort, you can teach children how to button buttons.
Choose a time to work on learning to button buttons when your child is well rested and well fed, and when you have time to sit and help your child. Times when your child feels tired, hungry or irritable and times when you cannot sit patiently will not work well for teaching your child this skill.
Show your child how to grasp the button with the fingers of one hand and push it through the backside of the buttonhole. After pushing the button through the buttonhole, show your child how to arrange the button so it sits flat and neat in the buttonhole.
Ask your child to try buttoning a large button. Watch while your child grasps the button and encourage your child to push it through the buttonhole. Say encouraging words to your child as he works to fasten the button. If your child becomes frustrated, help him a little by nudging the button in the right direction.
Continue working with your child as long as she stays focused and interested in buttoning. If your child becomes frustrated or upset, suspend the lesson and try again another time.
Encourage your child to try buttoning buttons every day until he learns the skill. Give your child lots of praise after he fastens buttons successfully.
If fastening buttons puts your child in meltdown mode, suspend the lessons and try again in two or three months.
Tips and warnings
- If fastening buttons puts your child in meltdown mode, suspend the lessons and try again in two or three months.