Putting Clothes on the Right Way Round

Hints & Tips

Putting Clothes on the Right Way Round

Putting clothes on the right way round is tricky.  When children start school they might still put their clothes on back to front sometimes. As with all dressing skills it is best to start teaching this skill as soon as you can.

Choosing Clothes

  • Choose t-shirts, jumpers and pants with a picture or logo on the front. This will give your child extra clues about which way they go on.

  • Choose a coat with a different coloured lining to make it obvious which is the inside, and which is the outside.
  • Make sure the back of all garments has a label, a name tape, or an iron-on sticker. You can use a permanent marker if there are no labels.  Remove other labels to avoid confusion e.g. labels on side seams.


Putting Clothes On the Right Way

  • Point out the front and back every time your child puts a garment on.
  • Encourage your child to find the label/mark on the back before they put their clothes on.
  • Lay clothes out to make it easy

For garments that go on the top half: Lay them on a table/bed/floor face down with the bottom nearest your child.  Encourage your child to put their arms in first so they can see what they are doing and then pop it over their head.

For garments that go on the bottom half: Lay these on the floor face up with the top closest to the child.  Have the child sit down.  The child can then grip the waistband and push their legs into the garment.

  • Now teach your child to lay clothes out this way too
  • Click here to find further information about managing socks and shoes.


Turning Clothes the Right Way

  • Notice when things are round the wrong way.  Talk to your child about how you can tell something is the wrong way round.  For example you can see the label, you can't see the picture, the seams look different.
  • Now get your child to tell you when they notice something is the wrong way round.  Get them to tell you why.
  • Practice with easier items first e.g. socks / coats sleeves.
  • To turn clothes round the right way:

get the hand in

pinch the end while holding the top with the other hand

pull it the right way round

  • You might need to help them at first.

You may need to put your hand over theirs and do it with them.

You could trying showing them what to do by doing it beside them.

You could talk them through the different steps.

  • Encourage your child to help you with the washing.  This will give them lots of practice.  They will be able to work out when things are the wrong way round and then turn them the right way round.  Now they can help you every time you need to do the washing.


Last reviewed July 2021.