Some moms have emailed and asked me to share some frugal Montessori activities. Here’s one of them! This is a DIY version of the Button Frame.
Take leftover fabric from the Texture Board Activity (in reference to my previous blog) and put it together with simple buttons to create this practical life activity. Micah, my 3 year old was enthralled by it. He worked on it a couple of times and repeated it over the days that followed. Titus (15 months) on the other hand simply enjoyed finding the circle that matched the square pattern. I love how simple, practical and useful this one is!
- Rectangular piece of cardboard
- Six different pieces of cloth
- Six buttons
- Needle and thread
- Wood glue
1. Cut six pieces of cloth into equal squares.
2. Cut each piece in half. This will give you two sets of each fabric: Set One for the button squares; set two for the circles. At the end there should be twelve squares.
3. Sew a button in the middle of the each of the first set of squares.
4. Glue each square from the set one on the cardboard.
5. Trace a circle on each of the squares from set two and cut each circle out.
6. Cut a hole in the center of your circle. Make sure it is big enough to fit the button.
This is a great practical life activity because they do it every day. What better way to practice buttoning than with an activity that reinforces this skill over and over. Micah got so excited when I first showed him the board. This response confirmed that even everyday tasks can be made fun and educational.
Point of Interest (POI): Things to watch out for during the activity that will trigger repetition and stimulate interest in the child:
* It is important to show the child the dexterity required to get the button off. It may seem like a really easy task for an adult, but remember, to a toddler or preschooler it can be a challenge.
1. Pinch the button in the right hand and pull the button-hole open with the left hand.
2. Guide the button half-way through the button-hole.
3. Pull back the fabric and take the button out the rest of the way.
4. Do the same for all the buttons and set each circle aside.
5. To close the button, push half of the button through the button-hole.
6. Pull the button with the right hand and pull the button-hole open with the left to allow the button to pass through.
7. Return all the circles the same way.
8. Repeat and have fun!
Bonus: You can make the more challenging by giving the child instructions to put different colored fabrics on different colored buttons. For example, you can say, “button the orange circle onto the blue fabric.” This will certainly provide practice in identifying colors and following instructions.