Fort Myers occupational therapy

Zip It! Occupational Therapy Tips on Learning to Button & Zip

Learning to get dressed is an essential function of independence. But none of us is born learning to tie, button, or zip. For kids with developmental delays and disabilities, these skills can take longer. Our FOCUS Fort Myers occupational therapy team can help.

Developmental Progression of Buttoning and Zipping

Every child develops at a different pace, so there are no hard-and-fast rules for when a child should be able to master buttoning and zipping. That said, some general milestone guidelines are:

1.5-2 years: 

  • Can unzip zippers with large tabs.
  • Can pull a large zipper tab up if an adult holds the bottom of it tight.

2 years: 

  • Can unbutton large buttons (1 inch or more).

2.5-3 years:

  • Can button 3 large buttons, though they may not do so in the right order.

2.5-3.5 years:

  • Can unzip and unsnap clothing while wearing it.

3-4.5 years:

  • Is able to close the front snap on clothing.
  • Can button and unbutton while wearing front-opening clothing.

4.5-5 years:

  • Opens all the fasteners on any piece of clothing.

5-6 years:

  • Can hook and zip up on their own.

5 to 6 years: 

  • Can hook and zip up on their own while wearing the clothing.