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By Hilary Whiteeducational and craft writer

From celebrations and role play to counting, colour and craft, ‘Clothes’ is a topic that offers lots of useful learning opportunities. Try the following activities with your children – and help them discover just how much fun they can have with clothes.

Children wearing t-shirts

A clothes shop

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Making Relationships

Talk about visiting a clothes shop to buy clothes. What do the children remember about their experiences? Talk about looking at clothes on the rails, taking them off the hanger and trying them on in the changing room, parents/carers paying for the clothes at the cash till, carrying the clothes home in a special carrier bag and cutting off the price ticket once they got home.

Set up a role-play clothes shop in your setting. Provide a cash till and play money, carrier bags, clothes on shelves and hangers, scarves, gloves, hats, shoes, bags and jewellery. Include a corner for trying on clothes and a secure full length mirror. With older children, talk about the signs and notices you see in a clothes shop and ask them to help you make signs such as ‘sale’, ‘half price’, ‘changing room’, ‘hats, ‘sportswear’ and so on.

Include areas that focus on different types of clothes, such as winter wear, summer wear, uniforms, celebration clothes and clothes from around the world (African kanga, Indian sari, Pacific Island sarong, Scottish kilt). If necessary, ask an assistant to help children with trying on the clothes.

One, two, buckle my shoe

Communication and Language

Create a shoe collection with lots of different types of shoes. Explore the shoes with the children. Look at:
  • What they are made of (Ieather, canvas, rubber, sheepskin),
  • How they are fastened (laces, buckles, Velcro)
  • Their colour
  • The size and shape of the heel (kitten, stiletto, wedge)
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