Abracadabra! Winter be gone!
How lucky we are to have winter! Its white coat is so charming and it brings us so many enjoyable activities. Few things beat fresh winter air that makes our cheeks nice and rosy. But...when Monday comes and it is time to get my group dressed to go outside and a child decides to run around the dressing room throwing his clothing in the air, I admit to longing for winter to end. Nearly every time we prepare to go outside, there is at least one child who refuses to get dressed. I am certain I am not the only one to experience this. This led me to search for ways of making this period of the day easier on everyone. My goal was to shorten this period so we could in turn have more time to enjoy the snow!
Activities and material you can make
- Before going outside, it can be very interesting to plan exactly what you are going to do with the group. By having children choose activities ahead of time they feel they have a goal and they look forward to fulfilling it. Generally, this technique will provide children with plenty of enthusiasm to get outside which can translate into them getting dressed more quickly.
- Draw a chart showing the different steps involved in getting dressed for outdoor play. Children can use this visual aid to see which piece of clothing they must begin with and which one comes next. You can also provide children with pictograms. When they are dressed they can attach them to the chart with Velcro.
- It can be fun to create a rap or rhyme about getting dressed. Giving them the chance to participate in the creation of the song usually makes children proud to sing it afterwards.
- Using two plastic soft drink bottles per child, create hourglasses. The contents can be coloured water. Tape the two bottles together. Children can overturn their hourglass after successfully adding a piece of clothing. This makes getting dressed an interactive activity. It becomes a game.
- Play a game of musical clothing. Have children gather their clothing and sit in a circle. When the music stops, everyone puts one item of clothing on. This is guaranteed to make getting dressed fun!
- It may be a good idea to create a transition bin designed especially for the "getting dressed" period. When children are ready, they are granted the privilege of exploring the bin's contents. The bin can simply contain a variety of Dollar store finds. Rotate the contents regularly to keep children interested.
- On your way to the cloakroom, initiate various silly walks: like a penguin, like mice, like a snake, etc. Tap in to children's imaginations! I have also tried gluing footsteps on the floor, creating a path to the cloakroom. This worked wonders!
- To eliminate waiting periods in the cloakroom, hang a hunt and seek picture on the wall. Have children search for the different objects while they wait.
- Hang a large sheet of paper on the wall. Attach crayons with string. This can be a permanent setup. Children will enjoy colouring once they are dressed.
- Designate an area where each child is to get dressed. Use coloured adhesive tape to outline each area on the floor. Giving each child his own space will help accelerate the dressing process.