Learning from Putting On Gear
Each day at Hobson School, after a busy day playing outside, the children come inside, get their bags, and meet us on the tarp. The children then get to work taking off their mittens, hat, jackets, scarves, boots, and rain or snow pants. They place their outerwear in their bags, put on their inside shoes, hang up their bags, and, finally, wash their hands so they can begin to play inside.
WOW, what a lot of work they accomplish!
Our job as teachers (and parents) is to watch and coach children as they undress themselves, not to do it for them. And the reason for this is because there is a tremendous amount of learning that occurs when children learn to dress/undress themselves and take
care of their belongings.
We are sharing an excerpt from an article we recently came across that explains just how important it is for children to develop and have this self-help skill.
"As children learn to dress themselves, they are strengthening physical development, improving coordination and memory, and learning spatial and body awareness. Learning to manipulate one’s own gear also serves the very practical purpose of freeing up parents’ and teachers’ time, while enabling children to fix any problems that may occur when playing outdoors, such as dislodging pebbles and sand from their boots or taking off mittens."
Read more: "How Learning to Put on Rain Boots Leads to Academic Success" by Catherine Koons Hubbard