Monday, 15 September 2014

DIY Montessori Button Board

Montessori materials can often be expensive. However, the more I read online, the more I'm inspired to make my own simple activities.

One of the things I've made is a Montessori Button Board. The purpose of a button board is, obviously, to teach children how to undo and do up buttons in order to help dress themselves but it also helps with concentration and fine motor skills. The beauty of this one is that it also incorporates colour and shapes. It was also really easy to make.
First, I cut out a variety of different shapes from different coloured scraps of felt and arranged them on a larger piece.

Onto each shape I added a button hole. I'm lucky enough to have an automatic button hole function on my sewing machine. All I needed to do was read the manual, then I did a practice one on some scrap fabric.

It works by putting your chosen button into the back of the foot.
This makes the button hole just the right size on your fabric. As long as you start it in the right spot it pretty much does the rest for you!

Putting a pin at the end helps prevent you from ripping through the stitches when it's time to make the hole.
 
Then you tape your button into position on the backing felt.
And stitch it too...
 
I took the threads through to the back and tied them for extra strength.
 
 Then your little ones can practice doing up buttons.
My button choice was limited so, instead of matching button to shape colour, I chose to sew each button on with coloured thread to match the shapes. Not as easy to match for little ones, but we'll get there.
  

Rohan is now 2 years and 8 months and he can get them off by himself. On is trickier, he likes to just place them on top when the buttons aren't co-operating!

Ta da!

Do you Montessori? I'd love to hear your tips on easy materials you can make yourself.

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