Fall is officially upon us, and we hope you’re enjoying the new experiences that these seasonal changes provide. A breath of frost in the air, a colorful leaf, or animals busy about their winter preparations.
With the changing of the seasons also comes changes in your child’s routine. You might hear “I have to put that coat on before I can go outside?! But why?” These extra layers can be time-consuming and frustrating for a young child! Just in time, we have a few tips on how to smoothly transition between seasons this fall.
Store seasonally inappropriate choices out of sight.
Your child can independently choose and put on clothing with just a little help from you. We might call this ‘preparing the environment.’ During a season transition, put clothes you know you won’t need until the next summer in a bin that’s out of your child’s sight.
That way, when your child picks out clothing the night before school, you won’t have a confrontation about why it’s not ok to wear a favorite summer dress or pair of shorts when there’s a hard frost due the next morning!
If you’d like, while packing these clothes away, incorporate your child in the process. “Would you like to help pack away summer clothes? We’ll take them out again next summer when it’s ready to go swimming!”
Create a special space for outdoor gear.
Having a space for gloves, hats, scarves, and coats can go a long way towards keeping the whole family organized. Take a look at your foyer. Is there a convenient spot to place a few low hooks, just right for your child to reach?
You could try a basket or bin for small items. Help your child understand that they will be in charge of putting their mittens in this basket when they get home. Then, in the morning, they will know exactly where to find them!
Having a specific spot set aside will help your child be independent because they will know exactly where to find their own belongings. Awesome!
Choose clothing that is easy to put on and take off.
A real challenge and frustration for young children can be clothing themselves. Not because they aren’t capable, but because some clothing is actually just very difficult to put on and take off!
With the transition to cooler weather, we have a few suggestions for warm AND convenient clothing:
- Try mittens rather than gloves. Getting each finger into exactly the right finger hole can be a bit too much when your child wants to get outside to play with friends!
- For boots, either rain or snow, try choosing ones that have little handles or straps on top. This way, your child has something to grab on to when pulling a boot on! This little innovation goes a long way towards independence.
- Lastly, think carefully about the closures on coats and sweaters. Toggle buttons are cute, but is your child ready to fasten them all by themselves? Some children might enjoy this fine motor movement, while others might appreciate a zipper more.
We hope you take time to explore the changing weather with your family this fall! It’s exciting to remember the happy moments of summer while looking ahead to the adventures that fall holds.
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