Post coins into tub with a slot cut out of the lid and then progress to posting large buttons into a tub. Once the child is able to post the large buttons, move onto smaller buttons into a different tub with smaller slots.
Thread large plastic buttons onto a lace starting with the buttons with one hole only and then progressing up to buttons with five holes.
Thread small beads onto a pipe cleaner, and then progress onto threading beads onto a lace.
Post large buttons through a circular mat (beer mat) with a large slot cut out of it, then progress to smaller buttons.
Post loose buttons through a variety of button holes.
Create lots of different shapes using felt and cut a slot (buttonhole) into the centre of each shape. Get a long piece of ribbon and sew a button on each end of the ribbon. Ask the child to remove all the different felt shapes (one by one) from the ribbon over one of the buttons, and then when all the shapes are off the ribbon ask the child to place all the shapes back onto the ribbon.
Get a short piece of elastic and sew a button on each end of the elastic. Ask the child to again use the felt shapes as above by removing each shape and then putting each shape back onto the elastic.
Practice buttoning up garments which are draped over the back of a chair with the buttons facing outwards.
Now practice buttoning up a garment which is on the child. Start with large buttons and buttonholes and then gradually start making the buttons smaller and smaller. If your child is still finding it difficult; push the button part-way through the hole so that it is ‘peeking’ out the other side. Ask child to pull the button the rest of the way through. Once he/she can do this, help the child to push the button into the hole for you to pull through. Now get your child to put the two parts of the task together so they can independently button up their garment.