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December 04, 2017

Practical Life - Buttoning

There's a new obsession brewing at our home. A stop what you're doing, no matter where you are, kind of obsession. It's leading to new challenges, and new victories! It's buttoning! Suddenly Nora cannot get enough. She wants to choose any and every outfit with a button -- big buttons, small buttons, sparkly buttons, wooden buttons -- she wants them all! 

Montessori practical life - buttoning at 3-years-old

At nearly 3.5-years-old, this makes total sense. She has moved from the unconscious absorbent mind worker of the 0-3 period into the conscious absorbent mind stage of 3 to 6. She has the determination, concentration, and stamina to refine her skills and strengthen her hand. She is less interested in the practical aspects of putting on a coat/sweater/shirt like a toddler, but she's loves the detail work.

Montessori practical life - buttoning at 3-years-old

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At home, I'm doing a couple things to fill this need for her. One is TIME. It's the easiest and hardest thing for me to give. All she needs is time to fill this need. She needs the extra five minutes to put on her jacket. She needs a stop in the store to unbutton and button her sweater {or the mannequin's!} 

Then, we provide opportunities. I've taken out jackets {like this gorgeous one} with complicated buttons, providing cardigans with closures, asking her if she would like to button Gus' coat or mine. I look for buttons in a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures when considering new clothing purchases. 

Montessori practical life - buttoning at 3-years-old

In her Montessori Children's House she has access to buttoning frames where she could button and unbutton at will. This would help her refine her skills without the extra task of doing it on herself, or another moving person. She could also repeat for as long as she needed without any pressure. However, since the frame is available to her, I don't have ours out at home. 

If your child doesn't go to a Montessori school, a button frame is a great way to support this interest for children. It's an easy DIY or they can be purchased from a variety of sources fairly affordably. Some examples include: here | here | here. There are also toddler versions, for older toddlers learning to button. 

Have you noticed your child's need to button? How have you supported it? 

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