Arts & Crafts, Early Language, Play, Preschool, Speech Language Pathology, Toddler

Using Everyday Objects for Language: Clothing Edition

In the midst of this unexpected extended time at home, I have decided to focus on various everyday objects for a week each. On Week 2, we are using clothes! We will have 4-5 activities and crafts to complete throughout the week. Want to take a peek at what we’re doing?

The Schedule

Monday: Create a “Get Ready Station” in our home

Tuesday: Milk Carton Shoes

Wednesday: Necktie Craft and Dress Like Daddy Pretend Play

Thursday: Laundry Sort

Friday: Dress the Person Worksheet

Saturday: Bead Hangers

Start Here: Use this (free) inventory to determine what clothing (and accessories) your child already knows. As your child spontaneously uses new clothing words throughout the week keep track so you can watch their vocabulary grow!


Make a “Get Ready Station”

Parts of Our Get Ready Station:

  • Jacket/Bag rack at child’s height
  • Box for Shoes & Accessories
  • Stool to sit on while dressing
  • Detachable Weather Board

This is a space I have been wanting to create for B for a while now. But I couldn’t figure out a place in our home that I was willing to have it on display full time. Finally I realized I can adapt the coat closet and it was the perfect small space, that is hidden to guests! While B does not have full control over her dressing daily, I have been trying to give her opportunities through accessories (coats, shoes, hats, etc.) to practice learning to put on her clothes and give her some independence.

Benefits of a “Get Ready Station”

  1. Fosters independence
  2. Provides them choices within limitation (streamlines the process by also giving them a sense of control)
  3. Offers real life learning opportunities
  4. Teaches clothing, weather, and body part vocabulary
  5. Teaches following directions with real life objects
  6. Teaches categorizing (winter vs. fall, warm vs. cold, etc.)

Ways to Incorporate Language Practice in your Get Ready Station

  • In the station: limit clothes to each season. It will limit choices, help provide repetition, and focus in on that season’s vocabulary (clothing, weather, temperature).
  • Start at the station by having your child check the weather. Use weather words and talk about temperature while you point to your visual weather pictures.
  • Talk about what YOU are going to wear based on the weather (using visual). See if they can follow your self-talk (and reasoning) to come to a similar conclusion.
  • Talk about what your CHILD is doing as they dress. By doing this you are modeling the vocabulary in grammatically correct sentences.
  • Have your child practice following directions by putting clothes on in the order you say. Make it a game and let her have a turn doing it for you!
  • Thought Flexibility: talk about how your wardrobe changes as the weather changes. You may even pretend (eg. “We’re going to the pool so we need a hat, sandals, and a bathing suit. But what do we need if we go to the park instead?”)

Milk Carton Shoes Craft

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 Milk Cartons, Cleaned and Dried Out
  • Scissors
  • Glue/Hot Glue
  • Construction Paper
  • Stickers, Paint, Markers, and any other embellishments you’ve got!


  1. Grab your milk cartons and scissors and cut a hole roughly the size of your child’s foot. (I used B’s shoe to roughly guide how large I wanted the hole to be.)
  2. Let your child choose the color of paper they want for their shoes. Then wrap it around the 3 visible sides of the shoe. Glue (hot glue or gorilla glue) or tape the paper to the milk carton. Let sit until dry if using glue (you may need to hold each side while drying).
  3. Once the paper has dried onto your milk carton, cut out the hole again.
  4. Get Decorating! I give 2 choices of materials at a time.

Finally, get ready to have some silly fun and try on your new shoes! This may be fun to do while pairing with Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. When you are finished, add the shoes to your pretend play area!

Taking a Walk in our Milk Carton Shoes

Neck Tie Craft & Dress Up Like Dad Day

Materials Needed:

  • Sheet of Cardstock (alternative- use cardboard from a box being recycled!)
  • Pen
  • String/Ribbon to hang tie from
  • Markers/Paint/Colored Pencils/Crayons and any other embellishments you want to add
  • Scissors


  1. Draw an outline of a tie. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, there are tons of free templates when you do a search. I think the hand drawn gives it a even more personalized touch thought!
  2. Have your child request for the items they want. It may be in single words, using the structured phrase “I want ____”, or in the form of a question “Can I have the ___?”
  3. Decorate the tie however you desire (tip: these make a great toddler’s father’s day gift!). Every time they start a new material or color use the clothing vocabulary in a phrase (“color tie”, “paint tie”, “pom poms on tie”
  4. Cut out the tie using scissors (get that action word in there model “cut tie” every cut….or pause and let them tell you when to “cut”)
  5. Add the string/ribbon to the top of the tie. You can do this by hole punching the corners and stringing the string through OR simple taping the string onto the back of the tie.
  6. Try it on and go find your “Daddy” Dress Up Bin!

Laundry Sort

This is an easy one! Grab your clean (or dirty) laundry and get your kids helping! You have a variety of ways that your child can do this. You can sort by type of clothing (shirts, pants, socks), color (darks, colors, whites), dresses vs. pants, etc. etc. The trick is to know where your child is at for object matching. If they are under two, keep the categories to 1 or 2 (have only the shirt out and have them put shirts together). You can see in this video how we used 2 categories but only practiced with one category (Shirts):

Laundry Sort with a 19 Month Old

By 3 or so your child can likely do this picture sort of clothes:

Dress the Person

Materials Needed:

  • Clothing magazine (or you can be creative and let your child draw the clothes!)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Dress the Person Worksheet (found free HERE for download)..or you can draw your own!


  1. If your child is still young, cut out the pictures ahead of time from the magazine. Chose a shirt, shorts/pants, shoes, and a hat (or any combination).
  2. Set out the glue and precut clothes next to the worksheet.
  3. Go through each piece of clothing by: naming it, touching it on them or you, and saying “a (clothing) goes on your (body part)”. See if they can find that on the picture person. If not respond with “here’s their legs/head/chest/etc.” and have the put the clothing item there.
  4. If you have an older child: Ask them where their person is going! Then challenge them to figure out what would need to change if they went somewhere else (or it was during a different season).

Bead Hangers

DIY Bead Hanger

Materials Needed:

  • Hanger (I recommend a child sized one if you have one. If not- regular works, just requires more beads…and attention span!)
  • Beads
  • Needle Nose Pliers


  1. I recommend starting with a small amount of beads and adding more as needed (especially if you have toddler). Keep them in a container for containment.
  2. Using the needle nose pliers, undo the hanger so that it opens at the top.
  3. Once you have opened up the hanger, give your child the beads. You can control the beads to practice requesting (“bead”, “want bead”, “red bead”, “Can I have a bead please?”…all depending on where your child is at with their language) or let them have control of the beads and you focus on narrating.
  4. Let the child fill up the hanger with as many beads as they want, or until it is full. Depending on your child’s attention span and fine motor skills, this activity may be done for short periods over the week.
  5. Using the needle nose pliers, close up the hanger.
  6. Go find an outfit worthy of the new hanger!

Looking to add some literacy to these weeks? Here are my book recommendations for Clothing Books:

I hope you have enjoyed our week of clothing and your child has expanded their vocabulary! If you want even more “worksheets” for your child to use during this week you can find my free clothing unit with additional activities, crafts, and worksheets HERE (all free!).

Remember- the key is slowing down, being repetitive, and staying intentional during your time together! Let me know if your child learned any new vocabulary throughout this week! And if you do any of the crafts please share with me @languageandplaydates on Instagram!

Missing Some Things? Here are our favorites used this week:


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