August 4, 2008 4:06 PM

Montessori Mondays - buttons, snaps, zippers, laces

Hi Barbara~

If you have time, could you recommend a good book or product to help teach toddlers to use buttons, snaps, zippers, et al?


Montessori classrooms have dressing frames to enable kids to learn more easily how to cope with fasteners from buttons to zippers to buckles.

They look like this:

dressing%20frame.jpg dressing2.jpg dressing3.jpg

You can find them at places like Montessori 'n' Such

But most of us don't have that kind of money to spend.

What you can do is incorporate the ideas at work here to make learning easier for your child (and when learning is less frustrating, the child is inclined to want to learn more!).

First, it's easier to master fasteners if you practice with them on a table rather than looking down while they are near your body. Find a shirt with bigger buttons, make sure the button holes are easy to manage, then with the shirt on the table in front of both of you s-l-o-w-l-y - I mean s---l---o---w---l---y demonstrate how to unbutton first (easier), then how to button. It's good to have something with a few buttons to encourage repetition.

Use the same principle with zippers, snaps and laces. Let the child practice them at a table rather than learning with his own clothing. That provides a transitional bridge.

Also see Teaching kids to tie shoes.


Posted in Montessori, Montessori Mondays, Preschoolers, Toddlers | Permalink


There are various dolls out there which have all those elements on them in some way. (Just got rid of one the other day that had seen better days!) Discovery Toys used to also make a caterpillar (or worm?) with this. These have ties, a buckle, velcro, zippers, buttons, etc... .

Posted by: Cathy | August 4, 2008 7:29 PM

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