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What’s the easiest way to teach a child to tie shoes? While the task can be tricky, there are tips to make it much simpler. With these quick hints, you won’t only enjoy lace-tying activities, but will also accomplish your mission of teaching your child how to tie shoes easily.
Teaching children to tie their own shoelaces might seem like a Herculean affair. Since the task requires dexterity and patience, you might notice slow progress in your child. However, the right tips and guidelines will make your little one practice the art of tying laces without much help. Although kids are not likely to achieve shoe-tying perfection till they’re at least five years old, it’s recommended that you start early with yours. As this activity will enhance her fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, you’ll find it aiding other development milestones too!
Tips on How to Teach a Child to Tie Shoes
1. Start with Soft Laces
For starters, it’s advised that you introduce long and flat shoelaces to your child. With short and round laces, she might find it difficult to manipulate and manoeuvre the loops. If necessary, use a marker to colour the laces so that she’s able to distinguish between the two sides of the lace.
2. Form the Right Loop
Begin by teaching her how to form a loop with fingers. Point out how much space is required for the loop. Then, explain double knotting and how to do it. Go slow when teaching her. It’s no easy task for a toddler to tie shoelaces!
3. Help Her Copy You
When teaching a toddler to tie shoes, make her sit right beside you so that she can grasp all the actions you do closely. This way, she won’t get too confused between right and left loops and will be able to do what you’re doing. After she’s observed you a few times, make her follow your instructions in small parts.
4. Long Lace, Short Lace
Once she gets comfortable handling longer laces, work on the shorter ones as most kids’ shoes use small-sized laces. One of the best ways to teach a child to tie shoes with shorter laces is by lacing from the top second hole. This way, she’ll get extra length to work with. Form an ‘X’ with the two laces, after which you can show her the right way of forming the base of the lace bow.
4. Applaud and Praise
Remember, tying shoelaces properly is an intricate task for a child who’s still developing fine motor skills. Celebrate every little step accomplished by your munchkin. Appreciate her efforts when she starts crossing and pulling the shoelaces correctly. Reward her with some fun treats. Doing this will sustain her interest in learning to fasten shoelaces.
Keep these pointers in mind and practice tying shoelaces often with your child. If you don’t want to work on shoes all the time, you can practice tying knots on a practice board, or hold one end of the laces and have her work on the other. Soon, your child will learn how to tie her own shoelaces and will soon be able to bid adieu to Velcro shoes!