Encouraging independent dressing for school days ahead

By Cappuccino Bambino Sunday 23rd Aug, 2020

Finally, independence was on the horizon for our soon to be three-year-old daughter. She could put her pants on and leggings too but changing outfits was a stretch too far and organisation of all articles of clothing pretty much non existent.

We were looking for ways to promote changing and organisation and I’d heard from my sister-in-law who is a teacher, that a great way to do this for children in reception involved dressing a chair for P.E. I wasn’t sure if this would work for a younger child or if it would translate at home quite so well but nevertheless decided to investigate what was out there.

Looking for a similar product I came across ManiMe chairs. I was immediately taken by their wonderful animal designs and polished wooden finish, and could see the chair fitting really nicely in our daughter’s nursery.

Crucially on reading more about the chairs I could tell they were designed to act in much the same way as the P.E lesson ones, but that these were definitely more appealing for any little one who needs a bit of prompting.

On presenting the chair, kindly gifted by ManiMe, our girl shrieked with delight , ‘my chair!’

We were flexible at first and allowed her to proudly sit on it and she absolutely loved the monkey and grabbed happily at the ears. At lunchtime she ate her sandwiches sat on it in the dining room and once she’d taken full ownership of it we said, as a special treat she could have it in her room.

That evening I decided to ‘dress’ the chair so she would know exactly what outfit to wear tomorrow. We tucked her shoes underneath, folded the top and leggings on the seat, placed her cardigan on the peg behind and finally her pants and socks were hung on the railing.

In the morning, I talked her through dressing with her monkey, who naturally she had already given a name to. Her monkey chair friend must now only ever be referred to as Marcel! (Of course!)

I helped direct her to each item of clothing and showed her where we had put everything. Having done so, I then removed all the items and allowed her to have a go at putting them back on the chair in the same places.

The chair looks fantastic in her increasingly grown up room and over the past few weeks she’s really enjoyed asking us what the weather is going to be like and then discussing with Marcel her outfit for whichever activity she might have planned!

With nursery starting in September it’s been a great aid in helping her change quickly in the mornings and although she still needs some assistance, she is getting better and better at doing the dressing by herself. I often leave the room as she’s changing to encourage her to try putting on her t-shirt by herself, something she has now nearly mastered!

The skills she’s learnt are fab and it’s definitely given her greater independence when getting dressed and ready for the day. It’s also been particularly helpful as her six month old brother is still demanding plenty of attention in the morning, so knowing that our daughter can now begin getting herself ready is perfect.

She’s finding the process more and more straightforward everyday and whilst there are still some reminders needed, she’s made some massive steps in the right direction with the help of this engaging, great quality chair.

I know the larger chair by ManiMe will also be an excellent step up for her when she begins school next year too and she’ll be changing regularly in and out of uniform. Hopefully she’ll be able to hang on to articles of clothing in PE lessons more easily so we won’t be doing the mad dash to lost property every week!

This cub chair is a fantastic addition to any household and the range of animal characters you can choose from, means you can select both the perfect design for your child’s age and also for your nursery theme.

Lightweight, amazing quality, eco-friendly and easy to assemble, it has been a marvellous addition to our home. Promoting skills in our youngsters that will help us now and in the future too – yes we all fear their teenage bedrooms will be a bombsite!

As you can see, the ManiMe Cubs Monkey gets a big thumbs up from our girl!