I haven't done anything Cheap & Easy in a while (Unless you ask my husband. Waka Waka.) so when I saw this Montessori inspired project a few weeks ago on my friend's blog One Hook Wonder I knew it would be one of the first things I made when I got home from our big roadtrip.
It's a great way to teach preschoolers the complex practical life skill of buttoning and unbuttoning while having a whiz bang of a time.
You can pretty much get the idea of how to do this just by looking at the thing but here are some basic instructions for the...well...craft challenged. There's nothing to be ashamed about (bless your heart).
One big button
A length of ribbon
A bunch of felt
Needle & thread/embroidery floss
2. Cut a bunch of felt squares. Use the button you choose to determine the size of square that will be best.
3. Snip a slit in each little felt square. Again, use your button as your guide. You can certainly use any type of heavy-ish fabric but the nice thing about using felt is there won't be any fraying over time.
4. Take one square and slide it down to the bottom, leaving about 2 inches of "tail" at the bottom. Sew that ribbon to that square on both sides. This is your base. Other examples may have done this differently, or even left the bottom "open," but this is how I chose to do it.
5. Put it all on a plate or in a small basket and let 'em string it up.
This game might not have a super long life but you can always pass it along to a younger friend or sibling. And don't waste the first time your child uses this. It takes concentration. Set your child up just before you need to start making dinner. Show them how to do a few of them and then marvel from across the room as they work on it "all by myself" for the next half hour!
TIP: Another great opportunity for your child to practice new buttoning skills without making a thing is when you wash bedding. If you use duvet covers on your beds, assign your child the task of unbuttoning them, and then rebuttoning them again once the duvets are washed. It's like having a free Montessori dressing frame in every room.
If you liked this, you'll like the other Cheap & Easy projects.
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