It always seems quicker and easier to help little ones get dressed. But it’s far better if they can do it themselves. As well as making them feel more grown up, it’ll give them a real sense of pride and achievement.
Things your child should be able to do before they start school
- Put on their own shoes and coat
- Get dressed on their own
- Recognise their own things and find them when needed
Helpful tips and activities
Things you can do to help them start dressing themselves and improve their skills.
- Put their clothes out ready to wear the night before
- If they want to choose their own clothes, limit their choice to just two things
- Play with dressing up clothes, including normal clothes
- Pretend to help them dress their teddy or doll
- Sort out the washing together – guess whose clothes belong to who
- Put clothes away together – guess where the clothes should go
- Talk about the colour and size of their shoes and how they go together
- Put an L or R sticker in their shoes to help them remember which foot they go on
- Praise them for trying to put on their coat or shoes by themselves
- Use easy fastening clothes and shoes, where possible
Signs to look out for
Things that let you know your child is developing the skills they need.
- Wants to have a go at dressing themselves
- Pretends to dress their teddy or doll
- Knows that their clothing belongs to them
- Fetches their own coat or shoes ready to put on
- Puts their coat on a peg when they don’t need it
Need more help or advice?
Talk to your Health Visitor, they’ll always be happy to answer your questions. Or if they can’t help, they’ll certainly be able to put you in touch with someone who can.