I’ve been intending to make a button snake play for my son since quite some time ago. I need to get him learn how to put on button shirt by him self. But every time I wanted to start making it, I always wondered, will he be interested to play with it? It’s such a simple play for a 4-year old kid.
So to get him enticed by this buttoning practice, I tried to make a bit more complicated thing. And creates a choo choo train button snake! Tadaa..
The idea here is to create a long chain of trains, consisting the locomotive and the freight cars. But instead of connecting one to another with magnet ( as in the case for wooden train play set such as this), we connect them using a buttoned-end ribbon.
To make this, you need various color of felt, ribbon, and two buttons.
- Begin by making a locomotive pattern and freight car pattern, I simply hand-draw these.
- Cut your felt. Make one locomotive shape and several freight car shapes. Ugh, I only have 5 cars, but you can definitely make more.
- Now, prepare your ribbon. To measure how long the ribbon that you need, arrange the locomotive and freight cars next to each other, and give some extra allowance. This is the shortest length that you need for your ribbon. I made it much longer, thinking that I may want to create more freight cars later on.
- Sew each button to each end of the ribbon
- Now, go back to your train felt shape. You need to make some snips at your trains so that the ribbon can be weaved in. I was contemplating between one or two snips, and decided to use the later. So I fold the locomotive/freight car length-wise, and made two snips (just enough to insert the button) around the location of the two wheels.
- And here you go, the choo choo train button snake is ready!
Let’s take a look how a 4-year old boy assembling the train. Initially he had some difficulty weaving in the button through the holes. But after several trials, he’s getting expert in doing it.
He had some imaginative play going on in his mind, pink car carries the pig, yellow carries corn, and so on. And he decided that pigs should be at the back end of the train, not next to the locomotive (don’t ask me why, haha, but I was amused on how much thought he put in before assembling the train).
The train shape added an extra level of difficulty, and hence more challenging. This is because he need to watch the direction where he should insert the button from. Otherwise, the wheels can be upside down, or the cars can get ‘folded’ if he inserted the button wrongly.
I think we can even add more challenges to this train button snake, such as putting numbers on the cars, such that he learn number sequences. Or perhaps, follow a certain pattern like ABAB pattern (for this, you need to create the freight cars from two colors of felt only).
There you go, a choo choo train button snake, have fun!
Have you tried making a button snake play for your children? What is their favorite part of playing with it?
Btw, most of the materials used here were bought from Daiso. If you are looking for more craft inspiration using Daiso products, head off to MadPsychMum website, where she features 22 crafts made by Singapore mom bloggers from Daiso items. I especially loves the DIY rainbow blocks, the fishing game, continent map, cute personalized magnets, and the awesome iPhone cover!
For more fine-motor play idea, take a look on:
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