All children need to learn what order to put their clothes on in. They need to know that their pants go on before their trousers. Unless they want to dress up as a superhero!
Involve your child in learning the order of the dressing as early as possible. Sing songs about dressing. Talk to your child about dressing. Play dressing up games. Practice dressing dolls or teddies. Have fun and be silly. Put clothes on in the wrong order and laugh with your child about getting it wrong.
Talk about the order of dressing when you or your child are dressing. Ask questions e.g. “What goes on next?”.
Lay clothes out in the order they should go on. This is usually easier if you lay them out in a line rather than putting them on top of each other.
Use a visual sequence chart. You can find examples on KIDS or make your own using photos or pictures.
Think about the environment. If laying clothes out, put them on something which acts as a contrasting plain background. Don’t put clothes onto a patterned duvet cover. Don’t put red clothes on a red carpet.
Practice, practice, practice! Give your child opportunities to practice every day.
If your child makes a mistake help them to work out what went wrong and how to fix it. Don’t fix it for them.
Let them make mistakes so that they can work out what went wrong. If they forget to put their pants on first let them finish getting dressed so that they can find their pants at the end. Next time they might not forget.
You can ask questions to help them figure out what went wrong.
You can compare what you do with what they have done.
You can have them look in the mirror to work out what is wrong.
Direct them back to their visual sequence if they are using one.
Last reviewed July 2021.