Dressing and fasteners

These activities are for children aged 27-36 months and align with stage 5 of the Developmental Journal Babies Visual Impairment (DJVI).

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Safety first

What you'll need

Your child’s everyday clothes (this can become part of their daily routine). Also, consider playing with clothing with large fastenings or zips and brightly coloured toys which have fastenings.


  • It may be easier for your child to begin with the bottom half of their clothes first and undressing.
  • Dress your child in the same sequence.
  • Practise on clothes, or objects with large buttons, zips or fastenings.



  • Practise putting things through slots, such as pennies into a piggy bank or shape sorters.
  • Build the concept of pushing and pulling by using lacing cards, stringing beads, or practise on big buttons. 
  • When buttoning on their body it’s easier to start at the top to align the clothing.
  • Start with large buttons in loose holes. Use an easy fabric like a loose cardigan. 
  • Ensure there’s a good colour contrast which supports your child’s need, for example, bright red buttons on white fabric. You can sew on different buttons or make holes bigger. Start bigger and looser and gradually progress. 


  • Practise zipping and unzipping attached zips, first on purses or backpacks.
  • Use an unsewn zip or cut out a panel.
  • Use contrasting colour sides.
  • Try backwards chaining, start with pulling a zip with an up or down action.
  • Try a dot of colour on each part of the zip to make it easier to match and join. Your child may find it easier to zip a coat by sitting down and lifting the zip up to fasten; that way it’s closer. 
  • A keyring on a zip can make it easier for your child to pull it up.

Please supervise your child at all times while completing any of these activities.

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