Dress for success!

August 27, 2013

Posted in: Balance

Looking to streamline your morning routine now that school is back in session? Sometimes getting the kids dressed in the morning can feel like a wrestling match and take up more time than you have to spare. Toddlers are ready to start learning dressing skills around 24 months so set the groundwork early and let them take care of the rest!

Getting dressed is more than just putting on clothes. It provides a host of opportunities for children to practice their finger and hand coordination. Here’s how to stock your little one’s closet so learning how to get dressed will be easy:

  • The night before, help kids pick out an outfit. Supply easy-on pants, shirts and shoes to make for a quick wardrobe change when they wake up in the morning. This will help with gross motor skills when they’re learning to put one arm in a sleeve, etc.
  • Introduce news challenges, such as a button or zipper, one at a time. This will help develop their fine motor skills. Try adding an element of fun by tying a string on the end of a zipper to help children get started. Zippers sound neat, so adding in a few sound effects of your own (zip, zoom!) will only add to their excitement!
  • Getting dressed can have a lot of steps. It helps to break it down into smaller steps — for instance, putting on t-shirt first, then shorts, socks and shoes. Talking with children through each step lets them know what to do and helps build their language skills.
  • Let your kids tag along when you shop for their clothes. Giving them the opportunity to choose some of the clothes you buy will spark their interest in getting dressed. Plus, you’re giving them an opportunity to make decisions so they’ll feel a sense of responsibility.

You’d be surprised at what tots are capable of these days. When children learn to dress themselves, it builds confidence, independence and a sense of achievement. Be sure to cheer them on along the way. Cherish the moment and have fun!