Getting dressed - an opportunity to learn new words

November 17, 2015
Toddler in wardrobe. Stock image courtesy of

Toddler playing in wardrobe

We all need to get dressed every day. The more we involve our children in our everyday activities, the more often they hear words they can understand, and then use. Repetition is one of the most important strategies for young children, so why not use activities that we already repeat as learning opportunities for your child? Offer a choice: “Should we put on the shorts or t-shirt first?”

Offering a choice encourages your child to have a go at choosing – physically by pointing to the item if the child doesn’t yet have words.  You can talk about actions, “arms up high” and use other words like “stretch”, or describe what’s happening, “that jumper is too tight”.  If you have time you can also do silly things to encourage communication. Put socks on over shoes – how does your child react? Put shorts over their head – have a laugh and talk about where it should go and why we wear shorts.

Remember to have fun with getting dressed – even when the socks go missing! It’s a great opportunity to talk.