Learning to dress builds up your child’s confidence and independence, and gives your child a sense of peace of mind. And once your child can dress himself, you can reduce the burden of housework as well.
In addition, dressing up helps your child develop many other skills, including:
– static motor skills as they learn how to knot and zip
– rough motor skills when they stand on one leg to pull a pair of pants
– cognitive skills when they remember what to wear
– language skills when they call out clothes types, colors and sizes
– time and space perception skills as they learn to dress for certain occasions and weather conditions.
Start with getting dressed
Often young children begin to dress by taking off things that are easy to take off like socks, shoes or hats. Sometimes they try to dress again. You can build this initial awareness by naming the clothes your child wears and the body parts they wear.
You can begin dressing your older or toddler in clothes by giving them limited clothing choices and naming them as you put them on.
Once you decide it’s time for your child to really start learning this skill, preparing some easy clothes can help. These may include:
– Wide-legged elastic pants
– clothing with large zippers or buttons and button holes
– photo jumpsuits, t-shirts and underwear to help your child exercise from the front
– Easy and comfortable clothes for your kids on the go.
Get dressed: break down the steps
Getting dressed can take many steps. Help them break it down into smaller steps – wearing underwear, for example, then t-shirts, shorts, socks, and shoes.
You can also break down each step in dressing, depending on your child’s skills and age. For example, you can break down the steps for wearing shorts like this:
– Wear shorts properly.
– Hold on to the front of the waistband.
– Push each leg through the pores while holding the pants.
– Pull up the shorts.
Talking with your child step-by-step helps them know what to do. In the early stage, simple words or phrases you should use – for example: ‘Wear a shirt’. You can speak more as your child’s language develops – for example, ‘Put your child’s hand through his sleeve’.