Do you remember how many times you practiced tying your shoes when you were young? It was an incredible feeling when we finally learned to tie your shoes! Little wins can boost a child’s confidence and help parents.
Teaching kids how to tie their shoes can be a fun and interactive journey.
Action steps to learn to tie shoes:
- Use the “Bunny Ears” method: This is a popular and easy-to-understand technique. Show the child how to make two loops, the bunny ears, with the laces and cross them over each other to create a knot. This method doesn’t keep laces as secure as others, but it can be a simple starting point.
- Try wide shoe laces: Use a large shoe with wide, colorful laces. This makes it easier for the child to hold in their hands, practice the steps, whichever method you choose, and see what they’re doing easily.
- Online class: Use an instructional class, like mine on Outschool, which includes live instruction and videos. Between explaining the steps and practicing together, we play games to keep it light and fun.
- Practice with a shoe-tying board: Create a shoelace board by punching holes in a piece of cardboard and threading a shoelace through it. You can also check out already-made kits so you can use them, along with videos provided with the product. Your child can practice tying on the board before trying on their shoes.
- Use different colored laces: If the child’s shoes have different colored laces, it can help them identify which lace is which, making it easier to follow the steps.
- One-on-one demonstration: Sit with the child and demonstrate the process slowly and clearly. Please encourage them to watch and ask questions as you tie your own shoes. Kids love to watch their parents do tasks they are trying to accomplish. It can create a connection.
- Hand-over-hand technique: Guide the child’s hands through the motions while they practice on their own shoes. This tactile approach can be helpful for some kids to understand the movements better. This can give them more confidence with your physical touch and guidance.
- Repetition and lots of patience: This is the hardest part of learning to tie shoes, staying patient, and continuing to try. Tying shoes can be challenging at first. Encouraging your child to be patient and to practice regularly will help them to be more confident when tying their shoes.
- Make it a game: Turn the learning process into a game. For example, you can pretend the laces are snakes that need to be tamed, play fun music, or change locations where you are practicing.
- Positive reinforcement: Praising your child for their efforts and progress, even if they don’t get it right immediately, they will often want to keep trying. Positive encouragement can boost their confidence and motivation!
Every child learns to tie shoes at their own pace, so be patient and supportive while learning this big milestone. Celebrate their successes, no matter how small, and encourage them to keep practicing until they master the skill.