While providing parenting advice to a client who explained she was overwhelmed by the amount of tasks she needed to complete each day, she noted a button on her daughter’s dress she wanted to fix as one of the many smaller items on her “to-do” list that had fallen through the cracks.
A regular theme in the Montessori approach to parenting is to involve your child in these everyday “chores,” as each of them offers valuable learning experiences and opportunities for growth. I suggested she and her four-year-old tackle the project together.
I reminded my client that her daughter already has many skills that have prepared her for this important work, from related “sewing” activities done in the past at a younger age (see this stitching block, for example); she is now ready to learn the next step in the progression.
When a child learns to sew you will first want to caution them about the sharpness of the needle, first by explaining and then and by quietly modeling how to use it so they can replicate your technique on their own.
During the experience of sewing a button your child will exercise their focus and concentration as well as hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. As they learn to attach the button, they will master a valuable life skill and it will become one of many in their movement toward independence.
Sewing a button is one of many lessons in the stitching sequence; keep it easy for them at the start by pre-threading the needle so they can simply master the sewing movement first. Perhaps use a button with two holes so it’s not too complex. Your child may be later inspired to move on toward more creative projects, and in the next lesson, you can teach them how to thread the needle themselves. Enjoy this progression!
After teaching my own children how to sew using the Montessori method, I’ve seen my own son grow up to feel comfortable with the sewing machine when he wants to fix up some of his favorite threads. It’s a wonderful thing to observe!
Find out why teaching your child how to sew can not only exercise their developing minds but open them up to greater independence and creativity in their life ahead.
For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.
Do you struggle to come up with engaging activities for your child or feel uncertain about how to properly set-up your home? Let’s Talk to get some suggestions and answers!