Off the peg

A round-up of books, puzzles and other resources to help you get the most out of your project on clothes. Jigsaws & puzzles

A round-up of books, puzzles and other resources to help you get the most out of your project on clothes.

Jigsaws & puzzles

Provide puzzles and jigsaws to develop children's understanding of clothes, their hand-eye co-ordination and their fine motor skills, and so promote their independence in dressing and undressing.

Getting Dressed is a set of four, 12-piece puzzles showing the stages of getting dressed, with the top six pieces of each puzzle showing the child dressing, and the bottom six showing the ever-decreasing pile of clothes on the floor (Asco, 15.95 for the set).

Starter Peg Boards is a set of three boards on the themes of clothes, home and household items (Asco, 11.10).

Pix and Mix People (Orchard Toys, 5.75) is an engaging 36-card game, in which children can build characters by mixing and matching heads (with hats) bodies and legs.

Human Body Foam Puzzles (Wesco, 28.40) is a set of eight, four-piece puzzles in which children have to 'dress' a boy or girl in the right clothes.

I Can Lace My Shoe is a delightful red and yellow wooden shoe from Wesco (10.10) that will give children all the practice they need in threading laces through their shoes and then tying them.

Giant Lacing Kit (Hope, 44.95) includes shape counters (100), bobbins (100), buttons (100), long laces (10) and lacing animals (six).

Fastening Skills Animals (Hope, 24.95) is a set of six farm animals that need to be zipped up and have their tails attached. They are made of textured washable fabric and come with a squeaky baby animal for matching games.

Role-play resources

Provide resources that will encourage children to dress up in a wide variety of roles.

Hope offers two packs of six Occupational Tabards. Jobs and professions represented include chef, firefighter, diver, paramedic, astronaut and pilot (27.95 per pack or 45.90 for both packs).

Multicultural Dressing-up Clothes from Galt come in two sizes, for three- to five-year-olds, and for five- to eight-year-olds. Costumes include a Nigerian boy and girl, and cost 23.95 each.

Bumper Animal Heads Set (Galt, 29.95), a set of eight hats representing animals such as the elephant and giraffe, should prove to be a favourite with the children in your setting. The hats have elasticated chin straps and are washable.

Dolls' clothes

Provide opportunities for children to practise dressing and undressing dolls.

European and African dolls are available from Wesco (30cm high, 14.10; 40cm high, 15.60; 50cm high, 17.80) as is a range of clothing from bathrobes (9.70, 10.20 and 10.70) to hooded tops (9,60, 10.20 and 11.30).

Multicultural Dolls' Clothes, from Hope, fit dolls up to 42cm, and cost Pounds 5.99 per outfit or come as a set of seven outfits (36.93).

Fabric markers

Encourage children to create their own patterns on fabric with products such as:

T-shirt Markers (Hope, 9.99 for a tub of 20)

Iron-fix Colour Fabric Markers (Hope, 4.50 for a pack of 12 fine-tip pens and 5.75 for a pack of six broad-tip pens)

Fabric Paints (Hope, 14.95 for a pack of six).


A large freestanding full-length mirror is an expensive but essential buy.

Dressing-up Mirror (Galt, 74.95) is freestanding with a hardwood frame and a non-glass safety reflecting surface, so is completely safe for children to use. Full-length mirrors are best supplemented by a table mirror such as those from Galt (44.95) or Wesco (46.60). Each has a wooden frame and base.


Excellent for the role-play area is the plastic-coated wire Mobile Coatrack from Galt (39.95). It is has a double-sided storage basket at the bottom and 20 hooks at the top, so children can see all the available clothes at the same time, and it is on casters, so can be moved with ease around the setting, indoors and outdoors.


'All by Myself' - Getting Dressed vol 1 (, 15.95) - in this 30-minute self-help video aimed at two- to six-year-olds, children get dressed with help from an animated host, Buddy the Ladybug.

My World for Windows (Semerc, 45, check) - children can have fun dressing the teddy in this popular computer game.


Useful factual books such as Let's Look at Clothes by Nicola Tuxworth (Lorenz Books, 3.95), which has bright, colourful photographs to engage children's interest.

Younger children will particularly enjoy flap and pop-up books such as Washing Line (A Flip-Flap Book) by Jez Alborough (Walker Books, 3.99).

A book with rhyming text is Ants in my Pants by Wendy Mould (Anderson Press, 9.99).

A storysack that children will enjoy is Mrs Honey's Hat (NES Arnold Pounds 30.00), which contains a big book and supporting materials to stimulate reading activities.

Include in your project a range of traditional tales such as Cinderella, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots and The Emperor's New Cothes. All these stories are contained in the collection The Hutchinson Treasury of Fairy Tales (Hutchinson, 19.95).

Try to include dual-language stories in your project. Not Again, Red Riding Hood written by Kate Clynes and illustrated by Louise Daykin is an updated version of the traditional tale, in which Red Riding Hood has ten samosas to deliver. It is available in English with a variety of other languages, including Bengali, Portuguese and Turkish (Mantra Lingua, 7.50; CD 12 + VAT).

Other stories that young children will enjoy are:

Mr Wolf's Week by Colin Hawkins (Egmont Books, 5.99).

Mrs Lather's Laundry (Happy Families) written by Allan Ahlberg and illustrated by Andre Amstutz (Puffin, 3.99).

Mrs Mopple's Washing Line written by Anita Hewett and illustrated by Robert Broomfield (Red Fox Mini Treasures, 1.25).

No Roses for Harry by Gene Zion (Red Fox, 4.99)

Rabbit's Woolly Jumper by Mark Birchall (Anderson Press, 9.99)

The Quangle Wangle's Hat written by Edward Lear and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (Picture Mammoth, 4.99).

* Best buy *

reader offer

We have ten sets of Multicultural Dolls Clothes (Hope, 36.93) to give away to Nursery World readers. Send your name and address on the back of a postcard or envelope, marked 'Dolls' Clothes', to the address on page 3. Winners will be the first ten names drawn on 29 May.

* Best buy *

reader offer

We have ten sets of Bumper Animal Heads Set (Galt, 29.95) to give away to Nursery World readers. Send your name and address on the back of a postcard or envelope, marked 'Animal Heads Set', to the address on page 3.

Winners will be the first ten names drawn on 29 May.

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