Friday, December 4, 2009

Dress The Bear

If you're a mom, you know how difficult it can be getting out the door with your precious little "time stealers". When I try to get Bookworm and Sassypants ready for school without any outfit planning, it usually ends up in a power struggle and us being late.

When the girls were toddlers, I saw ideas (don't remember where) about different ways to get your children's outfits ready for the week. There were suggestions of using those hanging closet sweater organizers to organize outfits for each day of the week, putting outfits in labeled Ziploc bags, etc.

All those ideas seemed good in theory, but with me being such a "visual" person, I knew there had to a better solution. Then I saw the idea of laying the planned outfit on the floor the night before. I tried that, but didn't like the idea of the clothes laying on the floor. One night the clothes were on the floor and I looked over and saw Bookworm's big bear, so I came up with "Dressing the Bear". If there is a similar patented idea out there somewhere, I don't know about it, and I'm not tryin' to steal your thunder.

So here's what we do every school night and Saturday night (for Sunday morning church). We "Dress the Bear" and "Dress the Gorilla". We have this huge teddy bear for Bookworm and a gorilla for Sassypants. Together we look at the next day's weather forecast, and choose an outfit accordingly. This outfit goes all the way down to socks, shoes, and any hair accessories they would like to wear. Since the girls wear uniforms, that's half the battle during the week. We usually do this while the bath is running or after pjs are on and we're deciding what bedtime book to read.

Here's what the "dressed" bear looks like.

You lay the clothes ON TOP of the bear.
You're not trying to actually put the clothing ON the bear.
The girls have tried doing this and it's disastrous, so try not to go there.
Think: missing buttons, stretched out shirts, and crying because you can't get off the get my drift.

We also choose socks and shoes.

I can't tell you how many times we've had to look for shoes the next morning
because they were taken off in a different place and then forgotten.

Don't forget to choose a hair bow or headband.

I really like this way of outfit planning because:
  • It saves time trying to coordinate an outfit in the morning when everyone is tired and often rushed.
  • It allows your kids be a part of the planning process.
  • It helps them take responsibility for making decisions in their everyday appearance.
  • It helps them select weather-appropriate clothing.
  • It lets you have a "preview" of what an outfit will look like when it's all put together.
  • Most of's fun for the kids! You can start this as early as 2 years old, and give them a few "choices" and let them put an outfit together. *Disclaimer: As mothers, you know you'll want to make it "match", so narrow down the choices to 2 outfits that you pick out. Giving the children free closet reign can come on days you stay home or if you are feeling like, "What the heck! They can dress like a homeless person or Pippi Longstocking today."
I even lay my clothes out the night before. I don't dress a bear....I dress a chair. I lay out my outfit on one of the chairs in my bedroom. I also get out socks/tights and shoes. I try to get as much done the night before as I can. Oh dear.....I'm such a nerd. Really, I am.

Do you have any ways that you help your kiddos get prepared for the next day? Any tips? I can always use ideas! Have a fabulous weekend.

BTW, I *promise* to post the Artichoke Chicken recipe I talked about on Twitter.


  1. As a new mom, this is some FABULOUS advice! Thanks so much for sharing! We'll definitely be implementing Dress the Bear when T is a little older.

    I, too, try to lay out my clothes the night before. I used to find myself wasting so much time in the morning searching for a pair of tights or that white t to go under a cardigan!

  2. LOVE it! I usually hold out 2 choices for Miss Priss, but once we get moved, I think we'll start "Dressing the Bear".

  3. thanks Dear--we need a fresh idea--our old tricks aren't getting it this Holiday Season--not sure if we are excited about the Holidays or worn out from all the activities!! will start this on Monday!