Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

Dress and decorate

Putting On and Taking Off Socks

Friday, November 30th, 2012 3:47 pm | By Stephanie Woo
Brooke Puts On Socks

Brooke puts on socks by herself

Here’s a video of Brooke putting on socks by herself at 22 months. To help your toddler do this activity by herself, the sock needs to be relatively new, so it still has a lot of ‘stretch’ when the child opens it. This way, they can easily slide their whole foot in with one swoop. Old socks that are a little small or have been washed repeatedly lose their stretch and require a lot of strength to stretch open. Especially in the beginning, when your child is learning to put on socks, it’s worth investing in some new high-quality, slightly-larger socks. As they master the skill of opening the sock, putting their foot in and pulling the sock up – they’ll soon be able to put on any pair!

Keep several pairs of socks out on the shelf so they can access it at anytime. This video was taken right before bedtime, so she’s not putting on socks to go out or anything – she’s just practicing. And you’ll also see her taking off the red pair she just put on to put on the white pair. Practicing putting on and taking off socks is a great Montessori Practical Life activity!

Helping Your Toddler Learn to Put On A Coat

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 4:02 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Fall is here and we’ve been digging out coats and jackets.

Last year, when I visited a Montessori classroom, I saw the teacher teach the children put their coat on this way. Out of ignorance, I thought it was a little dumb. This year, I realize it is GENIUS. Whoever came up with this method really understands the capacity of a toddler. It is impossible for them to put on their coat one arm at a time, like adults, simply because their arms are too short. But with this method, my kids were able to put on their jackets without help after just a few tries. Watch this:


A few keys:

  • In order to do this, the jacket has to be placed on a surface.
  • The inside of the jacket should face up. Position the jacket upside down. Tell your toddler to put the tag next to their stomach.
  • Teach them to put both arms through the hole
  • Help them throw it over their head.
  • It works and they will eventually learn to do it on their own.

Our Montessori Home In Baltimore Part III: Where We Get Dressed

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 11:00 am | By Stephanie Woo

At 22 months, Brooke and Mackenzie are finally able to undress and dress themselves completely. They can take off and put on shirts, pants, dresses, socks, shoes and jackets with very little or no help. I have to confess I do help them when I get impatient, which is more often than I’d like to admit! But they’ve demonstrated that given enough time, they can do it all on their own.

I don’t know if your kids are like this, but mine are pretty obsessed with clothing. Since they were six months old, we’ve always kept their clothes on an open, accessible shelf like this. They can come and play with their clothes and shoes as much as they want. They love to watch us get dressed and undressed and doing it themselves. Probably because I’ve given them so much liberty around this, all the practice they’ve gotten has made them very self-sufficient when it comes to clothing. 

Right now, this where they get dressed. You can’t see it in the picture, but this is right next to their work area. Getting dressed and undressing is just as interesting to them as using scissors or reading a book (if not more interesting on some days!).

On the top row, you see socks. They are obsessed with socks. On the second row are shirts and dresses. On the bottom row are pants, training pants and diapers. They are pretty much potty trained, but we do put them in diapers if we are going out for more than an hour or at night. And on the floor are their shoes.

I don’t interfere when they dress themselves. This means, on a weekly basis, you’ll find them wearing their pants backwards, two left shoes (from two different pairs of shoes, usually because they are sharing two pairs of shoes), two different colored socks, underwear over their pants, multiple jackets. etc. I think it’s hilarious, but I don’t correct them. If it doesn’t bother them, then it doesn’t bother me. What’s more important is the fact that they are capable of making decisions and following through on those decisions.

The weather just turned cold here in Baltimore so they are starting to put on jackets. I just installed these hooks on the walls for their jackets two days before this video. This is a good example of how we use this space in our home:

In the next post, I’ll show you a GREAT method for toddlers to put on their own jackets. They can’t do it the way we do it because their arms are too short, but wait till you see this!