It seems as though kids cannot wait to get to do anything. Kids are very adventurous right from the moment they get to crawl, and they are almost everywhere trying to explore and do things on their own.
The self-dressing should be introduced to preschoolers as early as possible though it doesn’t mean they will get to put on their shoes and suits it will help in their psychological and emotional development.
Children show the desire for independence earlier on their growth so much that they can’t wait for you to hand over that bathing suit to them to dress themselves. It is paramount that kids should be allowed or introduced to the skills of dressing.
As they grow, their learning process advances along with them. Through the process of learning how to dress, a child also acquires the skills of gross motor, fine motor, and cognitive skills.
• Gross motor; these skills are acquired through the process of lifting arms to put in sleeves and striving for balance when taken off shoes or shorts.
• Fine motor; this involves the ability to manoeuvre zippers and buttons on clothes.
• Cognitive-motor; this involves their ability to know what kind of clothes to wear and how to go about it.
As much as I would have loved to say that you would have fun teaching dressing skills to your preschooler, I wouldn’t dare say that. It will get to a time when you might be disappointed and even agitated at their performance. You must never lose your calm, and your preschoolers are having the fun of their lifetimes. Be patient and tolerant of their efforts and little improvements.
1. The zipper dressing skills; the zipper can be a very difficult task for the kids to perform. It is not as simple as it is to adults. So, at the initial stage of teaching them how to use a zipper, their first task will be getting the zipper down.
You zip up while the kids zip down. Make it as exciting as possible for them. Kids learn quickly when it involves some form of entertainment. In order to avoid the kids damaging their zipper, you should provide a plastic zipper for them that is large enough for them to practice on.
2. Pulling up trousers dressing skills; the best plants to introduce to your preschoolers should be trousers with elastic waistband. First, you open the trousers wide for them to put their legs into the trouser hole. Once you have done that, you will let them pull it up themselves.
Don’t forget they need a balance, or else there would be a fall. Provide your shoulders for them to hold for support, or you can have them hold their hands unto their bed or bedpost.
Remember to communicate with them as you take them through each dressing steps.
3. The slippers dressing skills; slippers are the best footwear to use in practising feet dressing. Slippers are light and soft. They are very easy to take up but difficult to put on. Your toddlers will always find it difficult to get their door into the slippers. And another challenge might be that of identifying a different foot.
They might actually put the right foot slippers on the left foot and vice versa. They should be guided right from the start to know which space on the toes goes into the slippers.
4. Socks dressing skills; In teaching them the skills of dressing in socks, they should be told to sit down for support. You should put the socks up for them and let them finally pull it up. In carrying out its practice, loosely socks should be favoured over tight ones.
This one will be easier for them to pull up, which will give them a sense of accomplishment and help to boost their self-esteem and establish the belief that it could be done by themselves.