Letting your toddler dress themselves helps them understand more about their own bodies – and it’s something they can feel proud about.
Things to try
- Lay out their clothes and show them where to start; first sitting down to put on their pants, then their trousers. Then tackle the vests, tops, or jumpers, showing them how to pull them over their head. You could even make it into a game of ‘peek-a-boo’.
- With shoes, look at them together to get a sense of left and right. They’ll soon know if they’ve put their shoe on the wrong foot, as it will be uncomfortable. Get them to think about why this is, and teach them how to judge this better next time.
- Talk about the weather when choosing what to wear outdoors. If it’s raining, do they need to wear boots? If it’s cold, do they need a coat, hat, scarf and gloves?
- Help them to put their coat on, in a way that’s easiest for them. You could try spreading it out on a chair so they can put one arm at a time into each sleeve, or they might prefer to put the hood on their head then let them find the right place for their arms.
What they’ll learn
- When talking about the names of body parts or clothes, you’re helping your child to develop their communication and language skills.
- When you let your child dress themselves, you’re supporting their physical and personal development.
- As you play games matching shoes, getting them used to the idea of ‘pairs’, and counting fingers and toes, you’re helping them with maths.
- Learning about different forces, ‘pulling’ trousers up or ‘pushing’ feet into shoes, helps them grasp science basics.