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Small Button Box

Contributed by Carey Bornhagen, OTR/L, BCP


Original purpose is for ADL skill of pre-buttoning however this activity has many applications.


Buttons, Coins, Container, Scissors, Velcro


ADL (?)Activities of daily living (ADL) are routine activities that people tend do everyday without needing assistance. There are six basic ADLs: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence., Bilateral Hand Use (?)The use of both hands simultaneously, in a controlled manner, to perform an activity (i.e. clapping hands, using your one hand to hold a pencil while the other is used to stabilize the paper). , Hand Dexterity, In-hand Manipulation, Motor Planning, Pincer Control, and Pincer Grasp


Take 4oz putty container or container of equal size with a lid and use scissors or box cutter to slice a 2 inch x 1/8 or 1/4 inch rectangular slot into the top of the lid.

Place sticky back Velcro hook on bottom of container. Wrap a Velcro hook strap around the child's chest or abdomen. The small constructed "Button Box" is placed on the Velcro strap on the child. The angle of the slot can be changed to suit the child's abilities or needs.

Have the child use appropriate grasp to pick up buttons or coins of various sizes and place into the button box on self.

This activity can be modified in many ways to suit the child's needs:
- Adjusting size or shape of the slot to accommodate the items placed inside.
- Weights can be used for upper extremity strengthening.
- Markers can be used to provide color around slot hole for children with Visual Perceptual difficulties.
- The items placed in the slots can vary in size, shape, density, and texture for added ease or difficulty.
Small Button Box OT activitySmall Button Box OT activity

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