When we first toured Lydia's preschool, we were told that students needed to be potty trained before entering the ECE 3 year old program. Not a problem, since she hadn't needed a diaper since age 2 and a half. Then last week, one week before school starts, we attend her orientation where we learn that the preschool definition of potty trained involves being able to undress unaided, use the facilities, clean yourself, and dress yourself without ANY assistance. So, while Lydia is what most parents consider trained she is not very good at undoing buttons, snaps, or zippers. We have some elastic waist shorts and skirts that Lydia can navigate for now, but I want her to practice her dressing skills before the weather turns cold and her wardrobe shifts to lots of jeans style pants.
This is not a picture of Lydia's wardrobe. This is a pile of clothing I got at my favorite thrift store (89cents a piece) to make a project I saw on Pinterest. I remember having a fabric "busy book" as a kid. I thought about making one, but it sounded like a lot of time. Then I saw one on Pinterest that was made from pieces of real clothing, so less to make, AND the book specifically targets dressing skills. PERFECT! So I bought some cloths that had good snaps, buttons, overalls, etc. I also ended up getting some with interesting graphics. Then I bought some stiff felt to use as a background material.
This was one of my favorite shirts to play with. I instantly knew that I wanted to add a zipper to his mouth.
I cut off the lower jaw, creating an opening so that I could sew the zipper to the top of the mouth.
After the zipper was sewn to the bottom jaw, the mouth opened and closes when the zipper is zipped. I added some felt fire for effect in the background.
The button page started with a shirt. When you unbutton it, you can open it up to reveal a flower.
I intend to also sew a button to the center of the flower and then cut a few flower petal shapes from felt that can also be threaded onto the button for extra practice.
This is a counting page. Each necklace has more beads and Lydia can move them on the ribbon as she counts them.
This frog pocket was on the front of a shirt. The fly was on something else. Now Lydia can practice putting things in pockets and can stick the fly to Velcro to let him fly in the air.
I cut the ballet shoes off of a shirt and then added ribbon so Lydia can practice tying bows. When I finished these pages, I punched holes in one side and added album rings that open and close easily, so I can add more pages later when I have more time.......... or as I find more dressing challenges for Lydia to learn.