Learning how to get dressed appropriately for different situations is hard enough for adults, let alone children. For kids, they have yet to fully develop the motor skills to do something as simple as pull a zipper.
A household with two working parents knows how serious the time crunch can be in the morning, especially with toddlers. Most parents aspire to give their children time to learn independence and dress themselves, but the slow pace can be excruciating when they have a deadline.
For parents who want to nurture their child’s growth while also making it to work and appointments on time, check out the useful tips below.
Skills Needed When Learning How to Get Dressed
Getting dressed involves far more than simply picking the right clothes. Children need gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and cognitive skills to succeed in this furtively complex task.
Gross motor skills are large, coordinated movements humans need for whole-body involved activities. When getting dressed, this can involve things like switching and balancing on each leg when putting on pants.
Fine motor skills are also movements, but the small ones required for things like buttoning or pulling up a zipper. Using scissors, folding paper, and stringing beads are some fun ways to help toddlers develop these skills.
The cognitive skills needed to get dressed don’t seem like much to an adult, but they are not simple for a child. They need to remember concepts like front and back, right-side-out, and inside-out.
Spend Extra Time Practicing
The morning is typically one of the busiest parts of the day. Instead of using this stressful time as practice, arrange it for the more relaxed parts of the day.
Weekends are a good time to practice getting dressed. The next time you plan a weekend outing, put aside some extra time to let your child dress themselves. When there is extra time at night, children can also practice getting dressed for bed.
Shop for the Right Clothes
Children’s clothes might be super cute, but not all of them are actually child-friendly. The best clothes for children learning how to get dressed are ones with large buttons or Velcro.
Start with the easy items before having them try more difficult clothing like those with zippers. This will build their confidence and make it easier for them to tackle more challenging clothing items.
Make it Fun and Engaging
Learning how to get dressed takes time, and that can get pretty boring for kids. Turning it into a game will make sure they stay motivated until they conquer this new skill.
They can practice dressing their favorite toys, race to get dressed against a timer, or get dressed to music.
Ask a Professional Educator
There is no shame in asking a professional educator for advice teaching your child how to get dressed. Early years educators should be knowledgeable and experienced in this kind of developmental milestone. If your child is enrolled in a learning academy, don’t be afraid to ask the teacher for help supporting your child with developing this new skill.
If your child is not enrolled in a learning academy, consider contacting Grow With Us to see how we can help your child learn to dress themselves and much more.