Regardless, all of it is so exciting. Involving fine motor and practical life skills, dressing is a big step for young children. The ability to dress oneself fosters independence, builds confidence, and develops self-esteem.
Who knew you could get all that good stuff from putting a sock on?
With some thoughtful preparation, you can create an environment for your child to be independent and save you a minute or two
Montessori At Home – Dressing Basket
As you can imagine, however, dressing provides challenges. For example, my two-year-old races in the other direction even if I can manage to (help him) get his pajamas off and get a clean diaper on.
So, we came to a middle ground and implemented the What I’m Going to Wear Today Dressing Basket, a creation driven by two facts: 1) Like many two-year-olds, my child would rather run around naked or stay in his pajamas all day than getting dressed, and 2) although my son’s dresser is within reaching height for him, opening and closing the drawers gently and softly has proven to be a challenge.
Where to Place the Dressing Basket
I place it neatly next to his dresser in his bedroom.
What’s Included: Include the basics: a shirt, a pair of pants or shorts, socks if necessary, and a diaper. You might want to include a sweatshirt or something extra your child might need for the day. Â Ideally this basket goes under or near a low coat rack (we’re in the process of purchasing one).
How To Implement a Dressing Basket
At this point, I place these items in the basket. The next step in the process of independent dressing is to have him fill the basket and then ultimately remove the basket (if it makes sense for him). We always start the dressing process with our son at least attempting to remove his clothes.
Then we gently guide him to successfully get out of his clothing. Usually, this guidance involves helping a shirt over an elbow or providing a shoulder to lean on so he can step out of his clothes.
The results so far have shown that he relishes independence. When I say that we are going to change out of our pajamas, he doesnâ€™t fight me (sometimes I have to remind him of the dressing basket), and runs excitedly to his dressing basket to grab his clothes for the day.
The beautiful part is seeing your child’s face light up in the â€œI did it!â€ way when you can see the self-esteem building in his body. Sounds strange to say but I enjoy this moment even more after there has been a bit of frustration, a point when he truly learned to do it all by himselfâ€ and gained confidence that will help him through his entire life.
Seems like such a small and simple way to help develop such profound life skills, right? I love every minute of it.
Thanks for reading!