Make a homemade button snake to teach kids how to do up buttons. They’ll have fun “buttoning” felt squares onto a ribbon while they strengthen their fine motor skills and learn how to pass a button through a button hole.
Doing up a button is no easy task for a toddler! A homemade button snake is easy to make, and it’s a great tool to help kids learn how to do buttons.
It’s one of my favourite homemade toys, and one of the hooligans favourite things to play with.
Let me show you how to make one for your toddler!
For your convenience, Amazon Affiliate links have been added to this post.
Supplies needed to make a button snake:
- coloured felt
- length of ribbon
- needle/thread (for attaching your button to the ribbon)
How to make a button snake:
Cut a your felt into 2.5 inch squares. Ensure that your squares are a bit bigger than your button.
For toddlers, I like to use a button that is about the size of a quarter. For older children you could use a smaller button.
With your scissors, make a slit in the center of the felt square. This can be done easily by folding your square in half and making a small notch. Ensure your button will fit through this hole.
With a needle and thread, sew your button onto one end of your ribbon.
Slip one square of felt onto the button snake, and slid it all the way to the end of the ribbon. Knot it in place so it acts as a stopper.
Just look at the concentration!
More fun fine motor activities:
Uncooked Spaghetti and Bead Activity
5 Scissor Exercises for children
Get the Fine Motor ABC Book or E-Book!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations
YOur photos are always awesome. I love the bright colors.
As for the button snake, what a fantastic idea! I will definitely make one for my 3 y.o. And I know the 5 y.o. will want to play with it too and the 7 and the 10 y.o.!1 hahahaha 🙂
Thank you Tereza! What a lovely comment to wake up to! I find anything bright and colourful so refreshing these days after the loooong, grey winter we’ve had!
oh! that’s a fun one – can’t wait to try it. As always, thanks for the great suggestion!
Erin- The Usual Mayhem
Wow, that’s a great price for a DSLR! The cheapest I’ve seen here was more than $500. I may just have to add another camera to my collection.
The buttons snake is a really cute idea. I haven’t packed all my felt and sewing supplies yet – I may just have to make one of these for the travel time coming soon.
Hey, Erin, That price would be for a used one, I believe. I bought mine on sale through Amazon for 400-something though, which was really good. It was totally worth every penny. It seriously is my pride ‘n joy. lol
I will definitely be making a button snake for my 2.5 year old. He loves that kind of thing. Pinned it.
I really need to buy a new camera. That ones looks great.
I love it! I am going to make one for my 3 yr old great niece & 1 1/2 yr old great nephew ( or maybe 2!) Inexpensive, educational & fun!
Wonderful, Mavis! They’ll love it! You’ll love making it too! They’re so pretty!
This is such a great idea and easy to do!!! And I have LOTS of felt. Thank you!!!
Perrrrfect! Have fun, Arlene!
I still poke my tounge out like that when threading something-lovely idea!!
Awesome! Will try this with my 3 year old. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Glad you liked it, Anu!
Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy
I am so excited because 1. I love this idea and 2. I have all of the materials! Guess what I’m going to be making tonight!
I love button snakes, and your pictures are wonderful! I’m pinning!
I made 4 of them for my preschool class. They love them! 🙂
we have used them not only to strengthen their fine motor skills, but also for color identification, sorting and patterning
What a fun quiet activity! I can’t wait to make one to carry in our “going out ” bag. My daughter is legally blind and has Down syndrome so I will make it using a large button and contrasting felt. ( I might even use a permanent marker to draw a line before I cut to out line the button opening )
This is an interesting take on tactile learning. This is a fun and cute resource. Thank you for sharing it. Thank you for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop 🙂
Carrie @ Crafty Moms Share
What a wonderful activity! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!
This is a great activity! My 2 year old loved it! I wrote about it on my blog at http://aztoid.blogspot.com/2013/10/tot-school-learning-our-colors-rainbow.html
I love it!! We are going to Disneyland in two weeks and I was looking for waiting activities for my 2 year old. I can fit this in a small ziplock and stash it in my backpack.
Did this one today with children aged from 2 – 5 they loved it thanks for all the ideas
You’re welcome, Megan! Glad they enjoyed it!
I am soooo making this for our Montessori school. Our primary teachers will love this and so will my toddlers!
Can’t wait to try it with my 19-month old. I think he’s gonna love it. Thanks 🙂
This is such a fun way to learn to do buttons.
I have featured this on The Sunday Showcase: http://www.herecomethegirlsblog.com/2014/02/23/prepare-for-school.html
I loved this so much and made a few button snakes for my daughter who is a pre-school teacher. I put a button at each end of the ribbon instead of tying a knot in the piece of felt. One snake has huge buttons and the other has much smaller buttons – one end has a square button and the other a round one- just to see if the shape will make a difference to how the children grip the button. Cant wait for her to use them in class this week. Would love to send a picture so you can see your ‘inspiration in the flesh(felt!).
Great thinking using buttons of different shapes and sizes, Gaye! And I don’t know why I didn’t think to put a button on each end! Brilliant! I’d love to see pictures! Can you upload them to my facebook page?
I just made this for the children’s museum that I volunteer for. I can’t wait to see the kids try it! What a fantastic idea.
I am a Therapy Director and was looking for a easy activity that could be used during occupational therapy sessions. Because April is OT Appreciation Month, I made 11 button snakes to give to my OT staff! I can’t wait to pass them out, I know they will be just as excited about them as I was! Thanks for the great idea 🙂
I’ve made fine motor skill boards with buttons on it but the snake is an awesome idea. Not only will they get to practice buttoning, it can also turn into a nice toy for them to take home.
This will be perfect for our 8-hour flight next month! Thanks
This is a great idea! Can’t wait to add it to the Early Childhood rooms at church and for my grandson. Wondering if you can wash these and if anyone has tried it with fleece material?
I imagine they’d wash well, Sharon, and fleece would likely work too because it wouldn’t fray, but the squares would be floppier/not as stiff as felt.
I’ve seen this done using a pipe cleaner instead of a ribbon as the thread and it worked great, too.
I would love some help thinking of ideas to put on a figit/fiddle blanket for both those with Alzheimer’s or for my grandson who has Autism. The blankets and any attachments need to be machine washable. I would like to make several so low cost or handmade additions would be best. Sure having a hard time thinking of ideas and not much on the Internet.
Hi Cathy! You should drop Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures a line. She has a son with sensory processing disorder, and she blogs all about tools and materials for people with sensory needs. I’ll bet she’d have some ideas. Here’s her blog, and she has a facebook page too. You could always msg her through her facebook page: http://lemonlimeadventures.com
Thank you for this. I made one for my almost-2 year old, and she loved it. Since playing with it, she has been finding buttons everywhere (on her pjs, her dad’s shirt, etc).
I love this idea! I am an Early Childhood Education student and I have to bring different resources to my field placements. I am going to definitely give this a try. I love the suggestion of using this to match up colours or shapes – i.e. have the children put all of the circles on one snake and the squares on another or put all of the blue pieces on one snake.
Thanks for the idea!
Would this work if I hot glue the button rather than sew it? I don’t have a lot of experience sewing.
I think it would work, Aimee. You might have to re-glue from time to time though. It’s super-easy to sew it by hand though. Just thread a needle, knot your thread at the end, and go in and out of the button holes, securing the button to the ribbon. There’s really no right or wrong way to do it because it’s just a toy. If you were putting the button on a shirt, you’d want to look nice and neat, but no worries with this. 🙂
I love this so much… Definitely going on my to do list! Thanks for sharing
Thanks for the lovely tutorial. I just made 2 snakes tonight for my 2 years old twins. I’ll give them the snakes tomorrow, I hope they’ll like it.
Wonderful! So glad you were inspired by my post! I hope they love them!
Awesome trip to teach buttoning, Thank you very much indeed.