Teaching kids how to tie shoelaces can be a frustrating time for both parents and kids. It’s one of those tasks that just doesn’t seem to come naturally. Throw in the need for coordination and focus and it can all become a little too hard.
The thing to remember is you don’t want to scare your child away from learning how to tie their shoelaces. Starting the learning process too early can have adverse effects. You may not get your end result of a perfect bow and your child may become scared to try again. Confidence wavers in kids and they can lose it a lot quicker than adults can.
How Do You Know When Your Child Is Ready To Tie Their Shoelaces?
One of the most important factors in being able to tie shoelaces is coordination. Fine motor skills develop in children at different levels and rates. While there is a guide to monitoring developmental milestones for things like motor skills, no 2 kids are the same. Just because your child isn’t as advanced as another, doesn’t necessarily mean they are behind. Milestones are a guide as is the art of tying shoelaces.
Some of the signs your child may be ready to learn to tie their shoelaces:
- They can legibly write their name or colour in pictures neatly
- Can catch a ball
- Can use scissors and other items that require coordination
- They are attempting to tie shoelaces or tie knots in string
If your child is still developing their fine motor skills or too young to be mastering the art of pencils and scissors, they may be too young to tackle shoelaces.
Ok, My Child Is Ready To Learn How To Tie Shoelaces – What Do I Do?
Firstly, congratulations! The fun part begins. Not that you haven’t had fun parts already in their life – nappies, solids, walking, school… ahh, I could go on! Isn’t the life of a parent grand?!
Anyway, I digress.
I personally struggled with one of mine grasping the art, but my other child got it in no time. So, it really does depend on your child.
Here are my tips for getting the quickest result that will have your child saying “woohoo, Mum I did it!” in no time. And you saying “Thank goodness for that!” 😉
- Make it fun
- Try to keep it to 3 or 4 steps at the most.
- Use thicker shoelaces initially as they are easier for little hands to hold
- Use a larger size shoe for practice
- Create a little story or easy to remember steps like referring to the 2 loops as “bunny ears”. It helps kids to remember and brings an interest factor into the task.
- Tie knots in the shoelaces close to the ends as it will stop the shoelace from being pulled all the way through when tying the bow.
- Try using two tone shoelaces, two tone with one colour on each side will help your child to see where each side is at and better judge the loops and knots.
My best advice is, be patient as hard as it may be sometimes. My other advice is keep hold of the velcro shoes for a little bit longer, just to make sure they are confident with their new found skill.
Do you have any tips we have missed? What worked for you when you were teaching your child how to tie shoelaces?