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Any tricks to teaching a kid how to zip up her coat?

I've been trying, and my five-year-old just isn't catching on. I've tried with her coat on her body, I've tried having her zip up my coat while it's on me, and I've tried her zipping her coat while it's lying flat on the floor. No luck. Maybe it's an eye hand problem, since we've had no success with tying shoes, either. Or maybe it's a blind/sighted thing, but her dad can see, and he's had no luck with either task. And it isn't stubbornness because she wants to learn, although now that she has tried and failed repeatedly she just gives up after two seconds.


Asked by Ballad at 4:55 PM on Dec. 12, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • with a task that has many steps
    the ABA way to tackle this is to take it in steps, and start with the last step then work backwards
    so start it with her zipping after you have connected the zipper
    then, after mastered (which is not hard)
    then the getting the zipper started- the connection of two haves- this is just plain hard
    if you have a coat that has an easy one to connect, start on this one, even if not winter coat, she can practice wearing around house

    zippers are really hard, some parents have a hard time starting

    the backwards approach works for tying shoes too (i, mine is not there yet)
    start at end of task, once mastered then at 2nd from last etc= better then starting at beginning
    it is a completion thing i guess

    good luck, it will come

    Answer by fiatpax at 5:32 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • Practice, practice, practice.  Like everything else kids need to learn to do on their own.


    Answer by louise2 at 5:37 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • The lead to the zipper may be to small, ask your SO to take the coat in and have a bigger pull and zipper insert put in.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 5:29 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I suggest a zipper pull as well. It makes it much easier to grab the little thing! You can find really cute (sometimes personalized) ones on Etsy! :)

    Answer by AdensMama0308 at 6:29 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • Put a keychain on the zipper handle if the hole is big enough. Otherwise it's just a task of getting that little straight bugger in his home and holding while zipping. Maybe go to the thrift shop and find a coat that is super easy to zip and start with that. Or stick with velcro or buttons for now.

    Answer by staciandababy at 6:47 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • Practice and patience

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 7:11 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • No. Just lots of practice. My 3 year old preschoolers and learning to zip their coats. They are so proud when they finally do it. They will try all day if I let them.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:13 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • You can get some really cute ones at and they really do work!

    Answer by KTElite at 12:58 AM on Dec. 13, 2013

  • THANK YOU Fiat! I have been trying to teach my autistic 9 year old for YEARS how to tie his shoes. We will be starting steps tomorrow stating backwards.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:03 PM on Dec. 12, 2013