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Ripley St. John’s CofE

Primary School & Nursery

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Getting Dressed

When starting school, uniforms and getting dressed can be a big and overwhelming part of your child’s new days. 

Getting dressed and undressed is a key skill for your child to learn at this age; it enables them to get ready for a fun day, to put on and take off their coat at playtime and to join in with physical activities.

Here are some tips to help make learning to get dressed a positive experience for your child.


Build your child's confidence about getting dressed:

Let your child pick their uniform with you and tell them how lovely they look in it. Be careful not to over fuss as this might overwhelm them. 

Try to get into a routine of getting your child ready each morning before starting school, at a similar time, so that the activity of getting up and ready for the day stays consistent. 

Make getting dressed an enjoyable experience

Getting dressed is a complex skill that requires a mix of both large and small movements, putting arms in sleeves, legs in trousers and feet in socks. 

Allow time so that you and your child are not rushed so you can make getting dressed an enjoyable activity.

Be organised, have their uniform, packed lunches, bags and drinks ready the night before. If you’re calm and stress free, it's likely that your child will have a stress-free morning too.

Add visual aids to your child's clothing to help them learn

You can pop stickers, draw a shape or add name tags into your child’s clothes to help them know which way round they go, it’s also easier for nursery staff to return items to you or your child if they're labelled.  

Playing games like threading large beads onto laces or posting things through slots provide opportunities for children to develop the hand/eye coordination needed for fiddly tasks like doing up buttons, poppers and zips.


Think practically when buying clothes:

  • Big buttons on coats and cardigans are easier for little fingers to fasten. 
  • Consider shoes that slide on easily and have a velcro strap for comfort and support.
  • Gloves with fingers may be tricky for your child to master without help, so mittens may be best to start with. 
  • Look for clothes with zips that have room for your child to grab hold of.