District Site

410 Central Ave. N.
New Prague, MN 56071

phone: 952-758-1700
fax: 952-758-1799


Tara Lund
Early Childhood Teacher
Early Childhood Center
(952) 758-1673
Early Childhood




November 2017
Early Learning Tips for Parenting

Encouraging Self-Help Skills

The weather is getting colder!  Here come the coats, hats, mittens, and boots.  Well, hopefully no boots for a while!  It is the perfect time to start teaching your child some self-help skills.  Yes, you can do it faster than they can, but independent and confident as they learn to do more for themselves.  Dressing and grooming skills are learned by early and consistent routines in which children are expected to gradually become more and more independent.  Start now! Children will not learn how to do these tasks unless someone teaches them how and lets them try it and practice it.



Check out this link for a short video on the flip coat method It’s a fun and fast trick! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cH8BiuaJ4c     



This can be a difficult task.  Start the zipper for them. Only zip it up a little and let them do the rest! Have your child unzip when they take off their coat.  Once they get the feel of how the zipper slides you can start working on getting the zipper connected.  Encourage your child to bring the sides of the coat together at the bottom and “match up” the zipper case.  While they are holding the bottom of the jacket with one hand, have them pull the zipper up with the other hand.  You may have to hold the coat down for them a few times.



Mittens are much easier for children to put on then gloves.  Getting those fingers in the right spot can be frustrating for kids and parents.  Remember slip-on or velcro boots are much easier than tying.


Picture cards

Pictures demonstrating the order for dressing can save time and energy.  Getting ready for playing outdoors - snow pants, boots, coat zipped, hat, gloves. Click here for a link to the picture cards we use at school and print for use at home. Independent Dressing Picture Cards


Parents need to be:

  • Patient - it takes a lot of practice.
  • Praising - everyone loves to hear when they are trying hard or doing the task correct!


  • Consistent - don’t make them do it one day and then do it for them another day.
  • Reasonable - allow for more time and don’t expect them to get it all right away.

For further information contact Tara Lund, Early Learning Parent & Family Teacher 952-758-1762 or email tlund@isd721.org