As children grow they need to learn lots of skills. Below you will find resources to help you teach your child the skills they need as they grow up. The top life skills that families tell us they want to do by themselves are riding a bike, dressing, using a knife and fork and making a snack.
Learning to dress independently is an important life skill. Not only does it give the child a sense of achievement to master a new skill but also buys the parent a precious few minutes first thing in the morning!
Buttons are a hard skill to master as it involves both hands working together but making slightly different movements. Your child will not have the skills needed to be able to do this until the age of 4.
Start by teaching unbuttoning first as it is easier. Make sure to start with large buttons and work to smaller ones. Practising as part of play can help too, see the Button Programme and Activity Information Sheet for ideas. You can also practice by dressing teddies and dolls. It is easier to practice with the clothes lying flat on a table so your child can see what they are doing. Once they have mastered unbuttoning move on to buttoning. Finally get your child to put the clothes on and undo and do up the buttons this way.
Zips are usually the first fastenings that children learn to do. This is usually on their jacket and they always require help to put the zip together initially. Children should be able to pull up a zip once the adult has put the pin into the box by the age of 3.
For more information see the Zips Information Sheet.
Tying your own shoelaces requires a level of dexterity (using both hands together) most children don't possess until they're between five and seven, so take it slow!
The further up the school your child progresses the more likely they are to require to wear a school tie. During primary school this may only be needed for school photographs or special occasions but by secondary it is normally expected that children wear a school tie everyday. It is important to be able to tie a tie independently so that changing for P.E. is not an issue.