Follow these fast and simple steps to learn how to teach your kid to tie their shoes. Even preschoolers can learn how to tie their shoes!
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Is it time to teach your child how to tie his or her shoes? Do you kinda dread it? You are not alone! It can be a frustrating experience for both children and adults. However, it is a necessary skill. And the sooner it is taught, the sooner the child can progress toward greater independence. Following are the steps to helping your child learn to tie their shoes. With the right mindset and resources, it actually can be a simple process!
How to Teach your Kid to Tie Their Shoes
First, it is good to realize that before age 5, most kids will not have the fine motor skills to tie shoes. So, wait until you know they are developmentally ready to learn.
Demonstrate. It is good to have kids watch as you show them the method of your choice for tying shoes. They can sit beside you, so as to get a good view. Or you can sit behind and put your arms around them Walk them through the process a few times, narrating what you are doing. There are also a number of rhymes and songs that you can use to help kids memorize the steps.
Practice. There are lots of ways to practice before even getting to the actual shoes. Using lacing cards and activities can build skills. It is recommended when you do begin to teach with the shoes, that you start kids out with laces that are easy to grasp (so not too skinny) and are either a bright color or two-toned. This can provide a visual clue, as they learn how to wrap the laces.
It is important to take a break with their frustration level builds. That is different for each kid. Maybe you try a few minutes and they are starting to get frustrated, it’s totally fine! Take a break, come back to it another time. You don’t want to let the kid become so upset that they give up on it entirely.
Praise. Make sure that you are praising each successful step they complete. Even if it seems small, they will be encouraged if they feel as though they are doing something right. Offer assistance, but back off and let them try it on their own some too. Mistakes are how they learn!
Change the method. If the kid tries and tries but can’t seem to make progress, it might be time to consider another method. Is there an easier one? Or one that makes more sense to that child? There are actually a lot of different methods out there, so maybe you need to try another one and see if that goes better.
Celebrate! When your child finally masters tying their shoes, you might want to give a reward, like a new pair of shoes (with laces!). This will make them feel accomplished and, perhaps, ready to tackle another new skill!
Check out these resources to help you teach your child to tie shoes:
The demonstration is obviously crucial to kids learning to tie shoe laces. Since high levels of frustration can build between parent and child when working on this skill, sometimes it is useful to let the child watch a video. Watching someone explain how to tie shoes on a screen may feel less threatening for the kid. There are a lot of videos on YouTube.
- This is a video of the easiest way I’ve seen! It has become popular as an easy way for young kids to learn to tie.
There are many books out there that break down the steps to shoelace tying. Some even offer hands-on practice. Check out these and search for more on Amazon.
- I Can Tie My Own Shoelaces (by Oakley Graham) is an interactive book with a rhyme.
- Red Lace, Yellow Lace (by Mark Casey) is a neat way to teach kids to tie their shoes, by using different colored laces.
All the reading and watching will amount to nothing, if the child doesn’t try the skill out for themselves! There are some fun resources out there that can give kids early exposure to shoe laces and the basic steps. They will enjoy these fun products and ideas, while preparing them for the real deal.
- Lacing cards are a great way to get kids, working on the fine motor skills associated with tying shoelaces. You can start young with these so that the skills are in place when it is time. You can make your own or buy some on Amazon.
- Melissa and Doug make a neat lacing sneaker that kids will love.
- Do you have a Lefty? Check out this Learn to Tie resource for left-handed kids.
Although it may feel daunting, learning to tie shoe laces is an important skill that we will teach our children. Don’t let it overwhelm you! Check out these ideas and resources. With a little creativity and a lot of patience, your kids will be tying their shoes by themselves in no time!