The two key elements of successful dressing are the ability to distinguish between different clothes, like trousers, jumpers and dresses, and learning the finer points of putting them on.
Although it is, well, child’s play to an adult, putting clothing on involves motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Kids have to put their heads through the right hole in a T-shirt, push their arms out of cardigan sleeves, pull on socks and shoes with their hands and use their fingers to button up a coat. In the early stages they will need to look at their clothing as they put it on, but as time goes by they will be able to do it by touch alone.
Understanding what goes where
The next challenge for young children when it comes to putting on clothes is being able to tell what each item is and judge what order they go on in. Part of this involves learning the back from the front, which is easier if the item of clothing has a front-facing print or is front opening, and more difficult if it is an over-the-head top or elasticated bottoms.
You can give your child a hand by arranging their clothes in the same order every day; this will get them into a familiar routine, making them confident about what is expected of them.
Getting them off to a great start
When it comes to helping your child to dress, be thoughtful; work with them to choose what they should wear. If they cannot wait to take over themselves, stand clear and only provide help when needed. A mirror can help your child learn both how to dress and to see if they like how they have dressed.
How did you help your child learn to dress?