Teaching children to tie their laces can be a challenge for parents’ patience, which is why many decide to delay this learning and continue using velcro shoes or slip-on.
However, learning to tie the shoelaces is not another step towards children’s autonomy, italso represents one of the first tasks in which the child will have to combine the movements of fine motor skills with hand-eye coordination. In addition, it is a great exercise to foster independence and self-confidence.
Five tips to teach your child to tie their shoelaces
1. Wait for the right moment
Children follow different lines of development, so everyone is not prepared at the same age to learn how to tie their shoelaces. Most acquire the necessary skills between 4 and 5 years, although girls are usually prepared a little earlier. However, each little one is different, so before teaching him to tie his laces, you must make sure he already has the necessary manual skills. Of course, you must also be willing to learn. In addition, you must choose a quiet moment, it is not convenient to try to teach him while you are in a hurry to get to work. You better choose a weekend.
2. Become your child’s model
A large part of what children learn, they do by imitating adults and, especially, their parents, who are their favorite models. Therefore, if you want your child to learn to tie his shoelaces, it is enough that you become his learning pattern. This means that you must arm yourself with patience and tie your laces several times, slowly, so that the child imitates your movements. It is convenient that you turn to games and songs so that you make this learning a fun time.
3. Teach him how to use his fingers
Tying the shoelaces is very simple, once you know how to do it and the movements have been automated, but for children, it can be a real challenge. Therefore, it is important that you first show him how to coordinate the movement of his fingers to hold the cords and pass them from side to side. You may find it very simple, but remember that children find it difficult to perform that type of movement. It will be enough for you to help him hold the cord and guide him, first placing your hand on his, and then instructing him to do it himself.
4. Show the movements to make the loop
Once the child has learned to maneuver with the laces, the time has come to teach him the movements of the loop. First, you must learn to make a crosslinked X, with the ends of the cord, and to pull strongly on both. The second step is to make a rabbit ear type with one end of the cord, while taking the other end and passing it around the loop. Then, with your thumb and forefinger, you should take the cord around the loop to pass it between the rabbit’s ear. Once the cord has passed, you should pull both sides, always in opposite directions, until the knot of the loop is firm.
5. Let him practice
It is important that you encourage the child to repeat these movements several times, until he becomes familiar with the procedure. Obviously, you must arm yourself with patience because most children need several repetitions before achieving their first bond. In the same way, you will need to continue practicing, until the movements become automatic.
Template to learn how to tie your shoelaces