Getting dressed every morning can be somewhat of a challenge around my house. My three-year old, Emma, likes to dress herself, but she doesn’t always make the best choices. Sometimes, it’s a battle that I’m not willing to fight. But most of the time, I prefer her to look like she wasn’t raised by wolves.
Emma needed an easy way to know what outfits went together. And quite frankly, my husband, Tom, needed some guidance since when he helps her get dressed, she ends up wearing the weirdest combinations I’ve ever seen – a three-year old daughter and a color blind father end up with some “creative” outfits.
The clothing line Garanimals has been around for years to help with problems such as this. Their tags feature different animals and a child can easily match their clothing – say a monkey tagged shirt to a monkey tagged pant – which allows them to easily dress themselves and give them control over their decisions. It’s a fabulous concept – except that it limits you to one line of clothing that is now sold only at Walmart.
In order to make our mornings (and the times when I’m out of town and Daddy is in charge) a little easier, I worked with Emma to create a little outfit look book. We took pictures of her wearing some of her outfits. We always do a little fashion show after we buy new clothes (fun for her, and I get to make sure everything fits). In the photos, she gets to pose however she wants to, and she enjoyed trying to pose crazy.
For her older outfits, I took pictures of them just laying on the floor – she wasn’t keen on trying on more clothes. I made sure to put any accessories with them that she needed, such as the bloomers that go under a dress.
Then, I sent the photos to be printed (I used Walgreens easy online service – you can even send them pictures from your smart phone). When we went to pick them up, I let her pick out a little 4×6 photo book to put them in.
So now, Emma has a little book of outfits that she can choose from each morning. She knows which tops to wear with which bottoms. I can add pictures when she gets new outfits and remove pictures when she outgrows something. And now she has the ability to make her own clothing choices without Mom or Dad interfering. It’s my hope that this will help her see how outfits go together to help her coordinate her clothing once she gets older.
Does this sound like an idea that might help you get ready in the mornings? How do you help your young children learn to put together outfits?