Winter is upon us, and the new Spring semester has begun. It’s time for coats, sweaters, stockings, and boots – even for our little ones. It’s important that a child’s clothes be accessible as well as have a lose, comfortable fit (and of course, the outfit has to be cute!). The clothing should be easy to button, snap, or buckle without the aid of an adult.
In the Montessori classroom, every activity is designed to inculcate a sense of independence and this extends to the clothes a child wears. We want our students to wear a coat freely and remove clothing for the restroom without help. This develops confidence and a positive self-image.
In school, we have special activities in our Practical Life area that instruct a child how to function independently when eating, cleaning, and dressing. One special material is the Dressing Frame – a series of wooden frames with cloth that are attached with different fasteners, such as buttons, laces, and buckles. In addition to the practical application of these materials, a child also learns concentration, focus, and self discipline when using the frames.
Practice these skills at home using your child’s own clothing – it’s a delightful activity for all children and also helps them assert their independence and individuality.