It’s always a bonus when learning a new task is fun for a child, right? Well, that’s the way it is with a button snake! A button snake is a homemade toddler toy designed to help when you’re teaching your child how to do up buttons. This activity is a lot of fun for little hands, the textures and colours are appealing, and the repetition of slipping the felt pieces over the buttons time and time again will really help to develop your child’s fine motor skills.
Making a button snake is quick and easy. In the past we’ve made button snakes with felt squares and ribbons, but this time, I thought it would be fun to make a no-sew version using whimsical felt flowers. I love it, don’t you?
TO MAKE OUR FELT FLOWER BUTTON SNAKE, I USED:
- colourful felt (stiffer is easier to cut, and holds it’s shape better than soft, flimsy felt)
- pipe cleaner
- 2 large, buttons
- sewing scissors
- 7 corks
- rubber band
- white paint
- paint brush
MAKING YOUR FELT FLOWERS:
If you have a flower template on hand, go right ahead and copy that for your flower shape. I didn’t have one, so I used a simple little trick that I love for making a basic flower shape.
USING CORKS TO MAKE A TEMPLATE FOR YOUR FLOWERS:
I secure 7 wine corks together with a rubber band to make an easy and instant flower template. Kids love stamping with these cork flowers, or you can trace around them when you need a basic flower shape.
You could trace your cork flower on to a piece of paper to make a template, but here’s what I did: I simply brushed on a light coat of white acrylic paint, and pressed the cork flower against a piece of felt! Instant flower! Isn’t that brilliant? Recoat your corks and press as many flowers on to as many colours of felt as you’d like. I made about about 15 flowers for this button snake, but you could certainly make more or less, depending on how crafty you’re feeling.
Cut out your flowers with a sharp pair of fabric scissors. Next fold each flower in half and make a small snip across the centre of the flower, making sure it’s wide enough for your buttons to pass through. Now you’re ready for the next step.
MAKING THE “STEMS” FOR YOUR BUTTON SNAKE:
The stem will be the part of the button snake that your child slips the felt flowers on to. By adding a button to each end of the pipe cleaner, you prevent the felt flowers from falling off when your child is playing with it. It also makes for easy storage (no lost flowers), and your child will get extra practice when he has to work to take the flowers off the button snake.
SECURING THE BUTTONS AT EACH END OF THE PIPE CLEANER:
Poke the pipe cleaner up through a hole in the button, and back down through a second hole. Twist the loose end around the main part of the pipe cleaner a couple of times, and squeeze it tightly in place. Repeat at the other end of the pipe cleaner, and you’re done!
Present your adorable new button snake to your toddler and let them give it a whirl. With a little practice, your kids will be buttoning their own buttons in no time!