We love watching our little ones grow up and develop their life skills. Mums of toddlers will know that they have lots of opinions on clothes, food and everything in between.
Toddlers enjoy having choices and slowly becoming more independent and one of the best ways to encourage this is by helping them learn the basics of dressing themselves.
We don’t suggest letting them pick out entire outfits at this age, but giving them choices will help the process.
Here are some tips for helping your tot learn to dress themselves.
Zips can be tricky for those little fingers to master but at about two years old is a good time to start practicing this skill.
Start them off with unzipping first as this is easier to master and once they’ve mastered that, you can practice zipping up zips.
A fun way to practice is to get your child is to hold the two sides of the zip together and get your child to pretend to be a race car driver “driving” the zip up and down. A large zip is best to start with at first.
2. Putting on shoes
This can be amusing for parents as your little one attempts to try the left shoe on the right foot and vice versa.
While your tot may not be able to successfully distinguish right and left just yet, at about two years old, they should be able to put on stretchy slip-on shoes.
Demonstrate how you put on shoes first and then get them to try it.
Encourage your tot to scrunch up their toes to help ease their foot farther into the shoe. Then pull on the heel afterwards.
By about three, your child may be able to put on their shoes without help. Velcro straps are helpful for toddlers, as they won’t be able to master laces just yet.
3. Pulling up pants
Like zips, our kids learn to pull down pants a lot faster than pulling them up. During potty training, your little one will soon master the art of pulling down their pants but may not be so good at getting them back on.
Start with a pair of pants with an elastic waistband, buttons are too awkward for tots.
Encourage them to step into the legs themselves and ask them what they should do next.
Help them pull up the pants and practice this daily. Soon they’ll get the hang of it.
4. Putting on their jacket
This one can be tricky for toddlers so the old-fashioned topsy-turvy method can help here.
When your child is approaching three years old, you can start trying this method. Lay their jacket on the ground, zipped open and on its back.
With the hood or collar near your tot’s feet, have them stand over it and bend down, feeding their hands and arms through the sleeves. Next, tell them to pull the jacket up to her chest (so it looks like they’re wearing it backward and upside down with the hood pointing to the floor).
Get them to raise their arms up to the sky so the jacket goes over their head, then wiggle the jacket down behind their back.
Toddlers enjoy this “silly” way of getting dressed and you’ll get a good laugh out of them.