Getting dressed without assistance is just one of the skills that your child will need to function independently at school. It will also free you up during those busy weekday mornings!
Mastering this self-help skill takes time and practice, so start building these steps into your daily routine at least six months before the school year begins:
- Start by letting your child get undressed without your help. Getting undressed is much easier than getting dressed. Unbuttoning is easier than buttoning and unzipping is easier than zipping. Plus, it's easier to incorporate this skill-building into your evening bathtime or bedtime routines, when time isn't as much of an issue.
- Make getting dressed as easy as possible by purchasing velcro shoes and sandals. Tying shoelaces will come later when your child's fine-motor skills are more developed.
- Buy pants, shorts and leggings with elastic waistbands. Show your child how to sit down, put one leg in each "hole," stand up and pull the pants up to the waist.
- Practice zipping and buttoning a garment on a flat surface at first.
- Let your child finish the steps. Pull a t-shirt over your child's head. Can your child push his or her arms through the sleeves? You start the zipper, your child does the zip!
- Promote independence by letting your child choose his or her own clothing. While your child might not always look "family photo ready," your child's friends won't care and the teacher won't either!