Buttoning 1-2-3!!

How many buttons can you count on the clothes you or your kids are wearing today?

Buttons are everywhere! On raincoats, rain boots, sweaters, dresses, shirts, and pants.

Starting at the age of:
___2.5 years old, it is age appropriate for kids to unbutton 1 large button independently.
___3 years old, developmentally, a child should be able to button a large or medium button on themselves independently.
___3.5 years old, buttoning up to 3 or 4 buttons independently is expected.

As a parent, do you find yourself completing your child’s buttons for them? By spending a few extra minutes helping your child who is at least 2.5 years old to complete buttons will give them an increased feeling of accomplishment and more independence with everyday tasks!

Often children have trouble completing buttons because of decreased strength in their fingers and hands, decreased eye-hand coordination, decreased visual-perceptual skills, limited movement in their hands, and decreased grasping skills. Also, limited trunk strength may limit them from sitting upright to see the buttons.

Activities that children can participate in to increase their performance with buttons include:

  • Squeezing silly putty or a squishy ball to increase strength
  • Picking out “treasures” hidden in silly putty or play-doh
  • Stringing beads to increase visual motor skills, visual-perceptual, and grasping skills
  • Picking up small items such as cheerios, raisons or puffs to increase pinching/grasping skills
  • Have your child lay on his/her belly during activities to increase trunk strength
  • Wheelbarrow walks to increase hand strength and movement in hands

If you have questions about your child’s development, please contact an occupational therapist at ABC Pediatric Therapy Network at 513-755-6600. We look forward to helping your child excel with their fine motor skills.

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