Kids' Lifestyle: Development Skills Associated with Learning to Dress
We previously recommended tips to teach your toddlers to self-dress. Walking the same path, in this article, we break down the developmental skills toddlers learn through self-dressing. Psychologists believe that getting dressed for toddlers can be challenging but by breaking them down into small and simple tasks, they will pick up a host of skills essential for their holistic development.
How Does Self-Dressing Play a Role in Children’s Development?
In addition to building self-esteem, independence, and confidence, self-dressing equips toddlers with skills necessary for physical and mental development.
By learning to button/unbutton and zip, children pick up fine motor skills. This is the ability use their thumbs and fingers by exercising the small muscles in the body. Similarly, by learning to wear pants and shorts, toddlers learn gross motor skills that require the big muscles to work and coordinate for actions like walking, running, etc. Fine motor and gross motor skills also improves hand-eye coordination and muscle strength over time.
When toddlers learn how to self-dress, they learn the order in which the clothes should be worn. This builds memory that further enhances cognitive skills. Cognitive skills are those that require learning, remembering, thinking, and processing. Once your toddler knows they are in control of their dressing, it creates a space for them to experiment and find their style. This is a sign of higher level of thinking enabled by virtue of their cognitive skills.
Thanks to the kid’s fashion industry, children have a huge variety of clothes to choose from; all varying in design, style, patterns, and colors. This enables them to learn the names of clothes, the different colors, and animals (and other patterns), which in turn teaches them words in different languages. If you speak multiple languages at home, teaching them the words in these different languages while identifying clothes is an ideal way to pick up both languages simultaneously.
As children learn to pick their clothes and dress themselves, they put to use their sensory skills like vision, touch, smell, and sound. This also enhances the sense of balance and awareness of body position/movement. This, in turn, supports motor, cognitive, and language skills to carry out complex tasks, as they grow older, that require the use of the body and the mind.
Decision Making Skills
The best way to let your child be independent is to let them choose their own clothes. Toddlers observe everything around them and this goes to how you dress as well. Naturally, they want to copy your style of dressing or preference of clothing. By teaching your child to self-dress, they learn to make their own decisions based on the occasion by putting in use all the above skills mentioned above.