At Vancouver Montessori School, we are dedicated to guiding children to purposeful activities to stimulate their developmental needs. Toddlers are driven towards independence and a big part of this is getting dressed and undressed themselves. Compared to traditional day care providers, certified AMI (Association Montessori International) teachers are trained specifically on the importance of building independence. When an infant discovers that they can remove their socks or chew on their clothing, this is the first stage in their awareness. Unfortunately, there are several unnecessary obstacles that can hinder this development. One of the bigger obstacles for toddlers is the clothes that they wear every day. With some small adjustments this barrier can become an excellent self-care tool for strengthening muscles, increasing coordination, building self-esteem and a sense of self responsibility.
– Children with overly long or loose sleeves can easily get frustrated or distracted while trying to paint, draw, build with blocks or wash their hands.
– A child with clothes to small is unable to dress or undress independently.
– Toddlers wearing onesies will begin to tug at their pants, wanting to use the toilet like the other children. They are unable to unbutton the snaps between their legs and can get frustrated.
– A girl with a dress or a boy with an oversized shirt may attempt to sit on the toilet, but gets it wet because it dipped into the toilet and they must change their clothing.
As parents we want to help our children and want them to be successful. We think that by helping them we are showing them the correct way. While some help may be needed, if we give too much help with dressing/undressing, we can hinder their development. Make sure to give ample time for your child to practice their skills, and watch your child master the skill!