How to Button a Shirt: Tips for Teaching Your Child
Learning to button takes a little time and practice for all kids. Some will get it without much effort, but for kids that struggle with attention, motor planning, and fine motor skills, it can be a challenge.
You can help your child learn to button by breaking down the process into very small steps. I sometimes start out by using a dressing board like this, which has larger buttons than most clothes. These boards are available online and usually come with other types of fasteners too. But you can also start right away using a shirt or other piece of clothing, preferably with large buttons.
You’ll want to work on a tabletop with your child sitting in a chair. That will give him extra stability while he works. Lay out the piece of clothing on the table with the collar closest to your child, so it’s facing the way it will when it’s on his body.
Start at the bottom of the shirt. Push the button partway through the hole and have your child pull it through, while you hold the fabric. Then, encourage him to hold the fabric and push the button through without your help. Have your child work his way up the shirt.
Once he’s had some success with buttoning on the table, he can put on the clothing and try doing it for real. Again, have him start with the bottom button. That makes it easier for him to see what he’s doing. You may find that your child gets the hang of buttoning fairly quickly, or it might take a bit more practice.
Either way, doing it step by step will help your child feel more confident about learning new skills.