Learn to Dress? Child’s Play!

The writings of Child’s Play! Maria Montessori are often summarized by this emblematic phrase “Teach me to do alone”. And it’s true that bringing the child to autonomy is one of the recurring principles of this pedagogy.

Practical life, the first important step in Montessori pedagogy

When one begins to take an interest in Montessori pedagogy, one often discovers practical life first. But what is it, really?

dressing alone are important skills

The exercises of practical life are related to the gestures of everyday life. These gestures are taken out of context so that the child can repeat them at will in order to refine them and progress.

These exercises are Child’s Play! designed to get the child to do real work, with real purpose, and simple everyday materials.

Often offered in the form of trays, the practical life activities are infinitely rich despite their apparent simplicity. Even if they make it possible to work fine motor skills, concentration or indirect preparation for mathematics or reading, they also have the advantage of bringing the child to autonomy in daily life.

Storing equipment, pouring drinks, cleaning their space, or dressing alone are important skills that the child will be able to acquire implicitly through practical life activities.

I will probably come back in another article to the different trays that can easily be made at home, but today I’m going to talk to you about dressing


Teach a child to dress himself?

If you have or have had a Child’s Play! around 2 years old under your roof, no doubt you have heard this sentence before.

I also bet you heard it when you were leaving when you were already late, and you had no time at all to let the child do it.

Fortunately, this situation is not inevitable!

The little child likes pumpkin pajamas to imitate and do “like the grown-ups”. And that’s good! It is this momentum that will instinctively push him to progress on practical and social skills.

So how do you let your child experiment and train while being on time for your appointments?

The idea is to draw inspiration from the Montessori practical living environment by giving the child the opportunity to practice dressing…. when he doesn’t need it!

He can thus repeat his gesture as many times as necessary to feed on it when he has time. And that’s what makes the difference


A few activities to help your child learn to dress

Montessori material is provided specifically for this. Indeed, the dressing frames are standardized and allow a real isolation of the difficulties.

There are also alternative activities


Use household clothes

It may be interesting to prepare clothes to be handled during quiet hours, so that the child can practice putting them on and taking them off (and putting them back on and taking them off… and putting them on again and taking them off again.

Trousers (or shorts, which are easier to put on), a T-shirt, a vest… try to vary them so that the child can have fun dressing up!

And taking a little bigger size can make it easier.


DIY dress-up activities

If you feel the creative soul, there are several inspirations to make dressing frames or approaching home.

Some allow you to recycle old clothes, others require more imagination!


Educational toys for learning to dress

At Children’s Boutique, you can also find a special selection of educational toys to learn how to dress.

Of very good quality, this Melissa & Doug wooden dressing board measures approximately 40 x 30 cm. It allows the child to discover 6 different opening/closing systems, presented in the form of a puzzle.

If the child is bothered by the pieces that come off or if you are tired of looking for them, it is quite possible to stick them on.


Soft toys to learn to dress

At Coccinelle Boutique, you will find 3 models of stuffed animals to learn how to dress.

Nicoletta and David are 2 adorable characters that children love to manipulate! They will then be able to discover the openings/closures on their baby girl dresses.

The centipede measures just over 50 centimeters. Children love its cuddly side and will have fun handling its 6 different dressing systems.


The wooden shoe for learning to tie laces

Learning to tie your shoelaces is not easy and requires a lot of practice from the child. We can only appreciate this pretty wooden toy that will avoid doing it on a muddy shoe.

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