Besides being a practical garment one wears to safeguard one's clothes against stains, spills and in certain cases, permanent damage, an apron serves to mark the start and end of a given activity; something one puts on at the outset and discards at the finish.
This is of particular importance in a child's case. They quickly learn to associate a craft or cooking session with the wearing of an apron provided the habit is introduced at the start, irrespective of whether they understand its true significance initially. The wearing of an apron is something which they come to put on as a matter of routine, just as one would do a coat when it is raining. All those other reasons as to why this is necessary will become evident as they develop cognitively.
In this - and subsequent guides - we'll explore the many styles of aprons available on the market and their respective fabrics, I.e.: PVC, Cotton, polyester, etc, as well as their individual fabric characteristics such as tare strength, durability, flammability and waterproofing, since these all play a vital role in the decision-making process.
Creating the right Experience
It may seem like a simple task, but how we introduce our child to their first apron could have either a negative or positive outcome.
part of the decision-making process requires you knowing your child's likes and dislikes. What is his or her favourite colour, for example? Is there a particular fictional character they follow and admire? If so, then maybe choosing their first apron on this basis will undoubtedly culminate in creating the right experience for your child. Rather than shying away from the apron, they will be keen to wear it.
Children with aspergers tendencies or with inclinations towards claustrophobia may react unfavourably to wearing an apron, particularly if it restricts them in any way. EG.: feels too tight, or they cannot discard independently whenever the need arises.
Hence, it is imperative we approach wisely. A wrong step - however meaningful - could lead to your child taking a dislike to the apron and - worse still - to its associated activity in turn. Why the activity? Because he or she will undoubtedly have come to recognise the connections between the task and its related clothing - the apron in this case.
Aprons with shorter halter straps often prove problematic since they constrict about the face in the donning process as you attempt to place it over their heads which can invariably cause he or she to panic.
Studies indicate that bad experiences in early infancy often turn out to be the most memorable and thus hardest to rectify - depending on the circumstances and level of the trauma.
However, for the purposes of this and all other subsequent guides, I would much rather we focused on the positive steps by showing you how to derive the maximum benefits from choosing your age-related apron for your child, through to introducing them to it for the first time.
Choosing the right Apron
With so many aprons on the market today, choosing the right one for your child can often be overwhelmingly difficult to say the least. Needless to say, buying the right apron may perhaps require a little process of elimination, starting with the age of your child to the type of activities for which the apron would ultimately be required.
Assuming your child is of walking age and approaching three years old, it is probably to his or her advantage if you introduced them to a simple straight-forward tabard in either PVC or cotton drill, before graduating to the bib variety with side ties.
Firstly, tabards - because of their very nature - protect both back and front. All depending on the activities - painting, cooking, or colouring, we would strongly advocate the PVC. Not only is the PVC more durable than the polycotton, but it requires incredibly low maintenance; a quick wipe down with a damp cloth at the finish is all that is required.
In addition, it is much easier to place over your child's head since the openings tend to be much wider than your conventional halter strap.
The other selling feature of these tabards is their side fastenings.
Both our polycotton and PVC tabards come complete with durable plastic spring fasteners, deliberately set at the right angle and thus enabling your child to fasten and unfasten them independently.
In the following guide, I'll introduce you to the cross-over tie apron and talk a little more about some of the important fabric compositions.
Meanwhile, thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment below.