Practical Life: Sewing Buttons


It is always amazing to watch tiny hands master complex fine motor skills. Here, we discuss button sewing, a Practical Life work in the Children’s House that satisfies so much within the child. 


Learning to sew a button onto a cloth may seem like a very basic skill to many of us – but when we think about the fine, precise steps involved, it is quite miraculous that tiny hands manage to do the task so successfully! There is the measuring, then cutting, of fine thread, the threading of the needle, then the tying of the knot at the end of the thread – and that’s all before the sewing even begins!


Wrapping the thread around her fingers, this child prepares to tie the knot


While sewing a button onto fabric is fun for a child (she gets to choose the color of button, as well as the exact fabric she would like to use!), it is also a basic life skill. When a child notices that a button has come off her shirt, she will wonder if the shirt is “broken,” and her sense of order can be disrupted. However, what an empowering thing to know just what to do when this happens! Such an exercise at home may involve a long process of choosing a button from a jar of many, to match the other buttons on the shirt. And then, imagine how the child may help the other members in his or her family with their missing buttons!


Handwork is so calming for children. It’s no wonder they come back to this work again and again!


“Repetition is the secret of perfection, and this is why the exercises are connected with the common activities of daily life.”   – Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

Be sure to check out our in-depth post on an Introduction to Practical Life.

For more of our Practical Life posts, be sure to check out any (or all) of the following:
Making Coffee

Washing Cloths

Buckle Frame



Flower Arranging

An Introduction to Care of the Environment


Serving Tea