Teaching Preschoolers to Dress Themselves
Dressing is a crucial skill for preschoolers to learn. As parents, you need to encourage them to dress themselves independently. Here are some of the techniques that you can apply to teach them the right way of dressing.
Preschool is a very exciting age. It is at this stage, that your child wants to be independent, and parents play a very important role in building that self-confidence and self-reliance. One of the various factors that build up confidence in them is to develop skills needed to dress themselves independently.
Tips to Teach Preschoolers to Self-dress
- Give your kid a couple of options (and not much, as they are bound to get confused and leave you impatient) to choose from. Remember, at this age kids are not able to color coordinate their clothes.
- Set some of the basic rules like the same innerwear cannot be worn the next day or the same dress should not be worn in two consecutive days.
- Explain the simple steps involved in how to wear clothes. For example, for putting on the pants, the steps could be:
- Pick up your pants by its waistband
- Lower the pants and lift up your left leg
- Put left leg into the left pant hole
- Put right leg into right pant hole
- Pull pants up to the knees
- Stand and pull the pants up to the waist
- Undressing is easier than dressing. You may opt to teach it first and then start with dressing up
- Buttoning and zipping can be a complex task for your little ones to start with. To make them learn how to button/unbutton and zip/unzip, try to opt for clothes with big buttons and zippers. You can play the game and make them learn how to put the button in the buttonhole and back. Same goes with the zippers, up and down like a fast moving car.
- Snapping snaps is yet another skill which your preschooler will learn very fast. Try to shop for clothes with big snaps. Help your child to line the snaps first and then put them inside one- by- one and press it till there is a ‘click’ sound. For unsnapping, guide them on how by pulling the two sides of the cloth apart, they can unsnap. Don’t be surprised if your kids love unsnapping better than snapping.
- Slipping on shoes is yet another skill, which your kid will learn easily if you start with the slip-ons. Try to opt for Velcro shoes and sandals, which are more convenient to open and close. Let your child sit on the floor while learning how to wear their footwear.
- To make them learn about how to wear a pullover/T-shirt, start with loose clothes to try and practice.
Remember, teaching your kids on how to dress and undress independently, requires a lot of patience, persistence and practice from both ends. It may take days and weeks of practice to master a particular skill finally. There can be the case that some children with some developmental issues may have trouble in getting dressed or undressed or might be allergic to certain clothing material like satin or silk. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult your doctor or therapist who will assist the children with certain strategies and teach them how to dress either by using a prop or by providing equipment.