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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.

Reader Comments (4)

  1. Knox is now 14 months old. Is it too early to have him start trying to do this? He has always put his arms through for me when I dress him, and raised his arms obligingly when I undress him.

    Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 1:05 pm | Grace
  2. Grace, You should observe him to see if he’s ready. I think at 14 months, you can start with teaching him to put on pants, pull-ups (if he’s in paper diapers) or underwear, even socks. On second thought, if you are collaborating with him, I don’t see why you wouldn’t show him how to do this too! Let me know how it works out with him!

    Monday, March 4th, 2013 5:00 pm | Stephanie Woo
  3. This is how I learned how to put my jacket on in day care when I was little…honestly don’t remember how old I was just remember doing it…my boys learned the same way (minus the youngest, because I didn’t teach them, their preschool did, need to work with the 22 month old) at a preschool that is run by the same org (military child development centers, which as I read more on Montessori, I think have a lot of Montessori to them, though the kid ages are not as wide spread and meals are structured, but the kids serve themselves from a young age…)

    Monday, December 30th, 2013 11:21 pm | Maggie
  4. My son can do this at 20 mo old already, I showed him once then I caught him practicing on his own. Now he does it, but sometimes upside down. He takes a while, but then exclaims, “I did it!” When it’s on. He’ll be 21 mo soon.

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 2:13 am | Tara

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