In just a matter of a few minutes, YOU can make any of these transportation button buddies like the ones above for the children that you work with and that need new way to work on this very important self-care motor skill!
What materials do you need?
It's simple, just buttons of needed size, felt pieces, scissors, glue gun, Sharpie marker, and thread and a needle. All of the felt and buttons can be colors of your choosing and can be child-specific to increase skill and motivation for each child.
Shh...I'm going to tell you a little secret, I've used an old sweatshirt and cut the buttons off of an old shirt before just to make a quick button buddy for a little friend. Who would've thought you could that!
Where can you find felt sheets?
It's easy, you can find individual sheets at your local craft supply store or the craft department of your local retail store for just CENTS each. You can also buy them in a package if you prefer that quantity instead.
How do you make these?
You can either draw the shape on a piece of card stock, cut it out and then trace onto felt sheets or simply just start cutting and do it by your OT eye. To attach the buttons, you can either sew the buttons on with thread and needle or you can hot glue them on like I did with some of these due to being in a hurry. (Don't add too much glue though as it will prevent the piece from buttoning onto the shape...I learned this the hard way.) After sewing or gluing buttons onto the felt shapes, follow with snipping small slits into the felt shapes to make the button holes for buttoning practice. Make sure your holes are just large enough for the buttons to fit and can make for a good pinch and pull motion. You can add other design elements as you desire with use of a marker, felt, sequins, googly eyes, etc. Be creative! Children will LOVE them!
You can use these fun button buddies during OT sessions when you work with a child who is gaining skill in the act of buttoning and needs to upgrade to a new size button and new skill level. They are perfect for motivation buttoning practice while also boosting some self-confidence when able to complete.
You can use them without any goal of actual fastener manipulation, but simply just to work on the hand skills or motor planning needed to perform. They are also great for working on problem-solving too especially as the child works on creating their button buddy with assembly. You can take a picture of the button buddy and present it with all of the pieces separated for the child to work on identifying and assembling from a visual. This is a great opportunity for visual perception and problem-solving!
Children love these and work so hard on their hand skills while building. So, the question is, do you want to motivate a child to work on important skills? Then take a few minutes and create one of these fun little buddies to help you out in your treatments or during self-care practice at home.
Framing this day with button buddy fun!
I have a fun DIY button resource I created a few years back and that is available at Your Therapy Source which is just right for Spring button buddy fun! It's called DIY Button Activity Patterns – Insects, Bugs, and More. Included in this fun resource is a lot of tips and tricks for creating button activities and button activity ideas for use during therapy or at home. It's only $4.99 which is a deal!