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Simon Says “Let’s Get Dressed!”

This fun game will help children develop the knowledge and dexterity to start to get themselves dressed. It is suitable for mostly older children in a smaller group.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

Ask children and their families to bring in items of clothing for the game (depending on the time of year, they may already have these items with them when they arrive at your setting!). Items can include:

  • Coat
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Jumper
  • Socks
Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

Preparing the activity:

Help the children lay their clothes out in front of them so they each have the same, e.g. a pair of socks, a pair of gloves and a coat.

Doing the activity:

Using the age-old ‘Simon Says’ game, play with the children and encourage them to try and put on/take off different articles of clothing.

Depending on the age and ability of your children, you could try simple instructions such as “Simon says put your hat on” or make them more detailed, such as “Simon says put one arm in your sleeve” or “Simon says put your socks on and then put your hat on”.

The game can be made competitive, seeing who can put their item on first, or collaborative, with small teams of children helping each other put gloves or scarves on.

The game can be advanced by encouraging a discussion about why we wear warm clothes like coats, hats, etc. (to keep warm in cold weather). You could even replace the instruction to add or take off an item of clothing with a weather forecast and ask the children to dress appropriately, e.g. ‘Simon says it’s hot and sunny/cold and snowy!”.

Photo by Lum3n from Pexels

Tracking the activity:

22-36 months

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Understands more complex sentences, e.g. ‘Put your toys away and then we’ll read a book.’”

Physical Development: Moving and Handling: “May be beginning to show preference for dominant hand.”

Physical Development: Health and self-care: “Helps with clothing, e.g. puts on hat, unzips zipper on jacket, takes off unbuttoned shirt.”

30-50 months

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Understands use of objects (e.g. “What do we use to cut things?’); Responds to simple instructions, e.g. to get or put away an object.; Beginning to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.”

Communication and Language: Speaking: “Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks e.g. who, what, when, how.”

Physical Development: Health and self-care: “Dresses with help, e.g. puts arms into open-fronted coat or shirt when held up, pulls up own trousers, and pulls up zipper once it is fastened at the bottom.”

40-60+ months

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Responds to instructions involving a two-part sequence. Understands humour, e.g. nonsense rhymes, jokes.; Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.”

Communication and Language: Speaking: “Uses talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.”

Physical Development: Moving and Handling: “Handles tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.; Shows a preference for a dominant hand.”

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