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Practice Buttoning With A Button Snake

Feb 10th, 2022 | by Georgia Berbert MSOT, OTR/L

Georgia Berbert MSOT, OTR/L

February 10th, 2022

Looking for an easy and fun way to work on your child’s ability to fasten buttons independently? A button snake is a quick way to practice so many motor skills involved in buttoning: pincer grasp, bimanual coordination, visual motor integration, the list goes on! The best part about a button snake? They’re easy to make and tailor to your child’s interests. Follow along to learn how to make your own with just a few basic craft supplies! 

What You’ll Need for Your Button Snake:  

  • Felt  
  • Scissors 
  • Ribbon 
  • 1 or 2 large buttons  
  • Paper and pencil (optional) 
  • Glue (optional) 

Step 1: Pick Your Theme

We chose to focus on a NAPA fan favorite kids song “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” but you can choose monsters, flowers, or just basic shapes. Decide what shape you want your felt pieces to be and draw out a template, or just wing it if you’re feeling brave. 

Step 2: Cut Out All Your Felt Pieces and Assemble Them

We cut out 5 frog heads with different eyes just to differentiate them and make it a bit more fun. We found that hot glue works well with felt and is quick and easy (no drying time required) but any glue you have around the house should work if you need to glue pieces on.  



Step 3: Tie Your Buttons to the End of Your Ribbon

We find that one large button on each end of the ribbon minimizes frustration from pieces falling off as they are strung on and can help keep the game fresh if you use two different shapes.  




Step 4: Snip “Button Holes” Into Each Felt Piece

This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a straight line approximately the width of the button will do.




Time to Play! 

That’s it! Have your child practice threading the felt shapes onto the ribbon by feeding the button through the hole or feeding the “bug” to the “frog”. If the task seems too hard for you child, make the whole thing bigger – use a plastic canister lid as the button and make the felt shapes huge. If it’s too easy, make it smaller!


This is infinitely customizable to your child’s interests and needs which makes it such a great quick craft project and a fun button toy for toddlers. We hope you enjoy our favorite fine motor activity for buttoning!

Find Additional Activities and Resources in the NAPA Blog:

About the Author:

Georgia has had a lifelong desire to work with children which began in first grade and continues to this day! She loves nothing more than helping a kiddo achieve something awesome. Hiking, climbing, skiing, board games, consuming large amounts of coffee, what doesn’t Georgia do? Spot her easily in her bright colors!

TAGS: Blogs, OT
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