Button Snakes

Toddlers love to do everything themselves, but sometimes that independent streak also causes a lot of frustration. You can help your child by scaffolding future life skills (like getting dressed) with this easy-to-make homemade button snake.

  • Ribbon
  • Large button (the size of a quarter is great for toddlers, or smaller for older kids)
  • Needle and thread
  • Felt cloth (get creative with colors!)
  • Scissors 
  1. Cut a length of ribbon. This will serve as the body of your button snake.
  2. Stitch your large button securely onto one end of the ribbon. This will serve as the head of your button snake. 
  3. Cut a small length of your felt cloth that is a little bit wider than the width of your ribbon. Fold that piece of felt over the tail end of the ribbon and stitch to secure. This will be the anchor end of the snake. Alternatively, if you do not have a needle and thread, you can slip a piece of felt onto the ribbon body and knot it at the end of the snake.
  4. To create the individual pieces of your snake, cut your felt cloth into a few small squares or rectangle (2.5" is a great suggestion) ensuring that the length of the slit in the felt is the same width or larger than the width of the button. These will be used to slip onto the body of your button snake. Using different colored felt is a fun way to introduce colors to your toddler and let them get creative. 
  5. Take one of your individual pieces of felt and model for your child how to slide the piece through the button head. Show them how to pinch the felt pieces and slide the piece of felt all the way down the ribbon body of your button snake.
  6. Have your little one try and watch in wonder at their concentration! Gripping the button and the felt pieces are a great way to enhance pincer grasping, fine motor skills, and their coordination as their hands work in tandem.  
Skill areas addressed: 
  • Fine motor skills
  • Independence
  • Concentration
Extensions & Adjustments: 
  • As your child begins to master the button snake, you can also make another set with thin ribbon, smaller buttons, and smaller pieces of felt to button onto the snake. 

  • Begin to allow your child to assist you when buttoning their clothing.

Ten Little | Toddler & Kids' DIY Activities | Button Snakes

Author: Mikaela Martinez