Learning to string and lace is hard for kids. Here’s how I got my two-year-old interested in this toddler fine motor project.
Stringing and lacing crafts are great for helping toddlers develop their fine motor skills, but getting a toddler to sit still long enough to string buttons onto twine can be a challenge. Here’s how I got my kid interested in this project and helped him keep trying, even when he was frustrated.
My son loves Daniel Tiger like no other right now. I shamelessly leveraged some Daniel Tiger lessons to get him interested in this activity and help him stick with it. We watched an episode from season one called “Empathy at School” quite a bit. At the end, some big kids are making charm bracelets, and lately Darrol has been wanting to make his own bracelets. What he didn’t want to do was keep trying when he was having trouble.
Stringing is hard for little toddler hands, so any time my son gets frustrated during this fine motor project and says, “Mommy, can you do it?” I pull out the big guns: the Keep Trying song. It might seem a little bit lazy to use Daniel Tiger to prime my kid for this project, but there it is.
If you don’t do TV, try reading stories where the characters interact with some of the supplies. “A Lost Button” from the Frog and Toad series is one that comes up with me and my son a lot when we’re making bracelets together. Engaging them in this way adds a dimension to the project that helps keep them interested. If he gets frustrated, gently remind him that Frog and Toad didn’t give up when they were looking for their button.
Of course, these are toddlers, so none of this is going to work 100% of the time. But it’s definitely helped my kid engage in this toddler fine motor project. He asks to make a necklace or bracelet almost every day! He’s getting so much better at stringing, and I love how this project is fostering not only his fine motor skills but more independence. He will sit, focused on his stringing, for 10-20 minutes at a time.
I feel like I can barely call this a tutorial, but here’s how you can make simple bracelets with your kids.
Toddler Fine Motor Project: Toddler-Made Button Bracelet
+ vintage buttons
1. Tie a small button to one end of the string with a knot. This will stop the buttons from pulling all the way through and coming off while your child is stringing.
2. Set out your stash of buttons, and let your kid go for it. You may need to show him how things work at first, but after that, I think it’s best to just step back, and let the kid figure out the stringing. This can be hard to watch, because they’ll struggle a lot, especially at first. I usually bring a book or something to distract myself, so I can resist the urge to help him.
3. When the bracelet is strung to his satisfaction, tie a loop on the other end, to make a “clasp.” Let him wear his bracelet with pride!