Tag Archives: toddlers

How To Make A Button snake. Dressing Practice For Toddlers.


One of the core principals of the Montessori prepared environment is beauty.  Not in a grandiose manner, but in a natural, tranquil, enticing and ordered way.

Learning materials should be equally beautiful, carefully crafted and presented.

It is for this reason that I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time creating materials relative to the amount of time he will probably spend on them.  Ok, I probably make things that are a little advanced, but I figure over time, these things will live a long, well loved life, that will make the hours of crafting worth while.

This button snake is a perfect example…it could be a much simpler task than I created for myself, but I wanted a snake that would look good and stand the test of time, in beautiful rich and tactile colours.

The idea of the button snake is to help with practical dressing skills…self-dressing coordination, concentration and independence from about 2 years of age.

The original inspiration was a much simpler version, made in felt.  The squares of felt simply need cutting to size, with a slit in the centre…have a look at Counting Coconuts version here.

I had this old fabric sample book which was going spare, the rich velvety colours were too tempting and the rectangular samples folded into perfect squares…no cutting needed!!.


Here’s how to make one…

Start with your fabrics of choice, my squares were just over 10cm x 10cm.  You will need 20 pieces of fabric to make ten squares, don’t forget to allow for the seams, so your squares should be a couple of cm larger than you want them to end up.

With the patterned sides together, stitch all the way around, leaving a gap of approx 5cm.


Turn the squares the right way, through the opening.

Use a chopstick to get into the corners and achieve nice crisp squares.

Press squares flat.

Close the seams with a blind (ladder) hand stitch.


Set up your sewing machine for buttonholes.  Stitch a central button hole onto each square according to manufacturers instructions.  (Definitely practise this on a scrap of material first, it took several attempts to get this technique perfect and make sure your button fits through the hole!)

Use a craft knife or stitch-ripper to open up the buttonhole.

Tips:  I chose a contrasting thread for the buttonhole, to highlight the opening.  I also made the largest size hole available on the sewing machine, I plan to start with a large button, and sew up the hole for use with a smaller button as he masters this one!


Finally, take a length of ribbon and securely attach two buttons, one at each end.  I tried a couple of techniques as you can see from the buttons in the picture, just use plenty of stitches as this is going to get pulled about…a lot!

This one could be quite frustrating for little fingers, so take plenty of time demonstrating how to thread and un-thread the buttons at the beginning.


I’m linking up at Montessori Monday, check it out for lots of other great inspirations.

Montessori Monday


You Bit Me…Ouch…Don’t Bite Me!


So as you can see, my son has a lovely set of eight teeth.  Eight tiny, pearly white, eagerly awaited, razor sharp teeth.

As you can also see, he has developed a penchant for biting me!

If I ask for a kiss, he comes steaming towards me, mouth wide open, and starts trying to clamp my mouth between his teeth.   Or if he is in a particularly boisterous mood, he will merrily bash against me with his head and start trying to gnaw away at my leg or tummy, or arm.

It was something I wasn’t expecting until he was a little older, maybe at pre-school where you hear stories of that kid who bites!  At 13 months old, I got a little bit worried that the little guy was doing something he shouldn’t have been…I pretty quickly discovered it was totally normal…

So what should I do about it?  I am pretty sure my current approach, giggling madly, giving a puny yelp of an ouch, and laughing some more as he goes in for a second bite may not be the conventional route!  And saying ”no” is something I talked about trying not to do (check it out here).

I never knew, but each bite is just an expression of his excitement, his love, his enthusiasm and his energy in life.  There is no way I am going to bite him back like someone recommended a friend try doing with her son.

Why do toddlers bite?

A bite is a way of expressing something without words, be it happiness, excitement, joy, or anger, frustration or hurt.

It could also be down to the usual suspects…teething, tiredness, boredom or just plain old experimentation.

How to react when your toddler bites you.

Stay calm!  Try not to laugh! Use the serious voice to say something like ‘bites hurt, ouch’ and use it consistently.

Shift the focus to a different activity, not biting mum fun time…a distraction is invaluable.

Understand why your toddler is biting.

If you can figure out what your little person is trying to tell you with a bite, it might go some way to calming the situation down.  If they could be teething, bring the teething toys out.  If they are over tired, try and get a nap in or nap earlier for the future.  If they are in need of more activity, try and give more time to entertaining them.

Each scenario has an obvious solution, but especially if your toddler is older it may be harder to deal with the situation.  Zerotothree.org has some great advice here to help you deal with your situation.

So what age did your child start to bite?  Or did they never go through this phase at all.  How did you handle it?  Would love to hear your thoughts…

I only hope my boob isn’t the next victim!!!




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