Winter wear self-help skills for the kindergartner

With the changing temperatures these last few weeks, the kiddos in my classroom have been chomping at the bit for that first snow storm.  They discuss all of the fun things that accompany the cooler weather: the first snowflake, snowmen they will build, hot cocoa, holiday traditions, and so on.

Now as a teacher, I love all of these things just as much as my kids, and I, too, can’t wait for that first snowflake to fall!  However, I also am very aware that the changing temperatures are not always an easy transition for my young friends.  They are quickly realizing that if they want to enjoy all those wonderful winter weather moments, they need to be dressed to go outside appropriately and in a timely manner.  In our classroom, we have come up with some simple guidelines to make sure we don’t miss out on any of our recess time.

Getting our winter wear on:

  1. Have the child put her jacket on first
  2. Have the child zip or button her jacket independently (parents: practice this skill with your child if they are not doing this by themselves yet)
  3. Have the child put her hat on
  4. Have the child put her mittens or gloves on

Getting our winter wear off:

  1. Have the child wait to take anything off until they get inside the classroom/home
  2. Have her place mittens/gloves in her jacket pockets or inside her hat
  3. Have her place her hat (which may also have the mittens/gloves tucked inside of it) inside the sleeve of her jacket so everything is together the next time she heads outside
  4. Have her hang up her jacket by the hood (if the jacket has one)

Now I know this seems incredibly obvious to us as adults, but it is not so simple for a child.  If you take time as a teacher/parent and go over this simple procedure with your young child and have them practice these skills independently, you will end up saving so much time in the long run!  And for all of the parents out there, the expectation should be the same for your child at home.

Give them the freedom to be independent.  It may take some time in the beginning, but it will be worth it in the end!

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