Learning and teaching how to tie shoelaces is a tricky task. This task requires you to put multiple skills into use such as fine motor skills, sequencing skills, and memory skills—children who are just mastering these skills can find tying shoelaces frustrating to learn, but once they get it right it gives them a boost of confidence and a sense of independence.
So here are some tips on how to teach your child how to tie their shoelaces if they’re ready to ditch the Velcro.
At what age should your child learn to tie their shoelaces?
Children generally develop the necessary skills to tie their shoelaces around 5-7 years old. If your child is progressing a little slower, there’s nothing to worry about; children develop at their own pace. A good indicator that your child is ready to learn how to tie their shoelaces is if they’re using both hands carefully for activities or hand-eye coordination.
To help your child develop their fine motor skills, sequencing skills and memory skills, you can give them activities like drawing while following instructions, or memory card games.
The bunny ears technique
- Take the right lace in your right hand and the left in your left hand
- Cross the left lace over the right side
- Loop the left lace over and under the right lace (thread the left lace into the hole underneath)
- Pull these tight (knot)
- Make bunny ears (loops) with each lace
- Cross the left bunny ear over the right bunny ear
- Loop the left bunny ear over and under the right bunny ear (thread the left loop into the hold underneath
- Pull these tight (knot)
Once your child has mastered this technique of tying shoelaces, you can introduce a different technique to test their skills.
Tips to help your child practice tying their shoelaces
There are a couple of things you can try to help them remember the steps and practice their skills
Sing a song or recite a poem
This doesn’t work all the time, but the rhymes can help your child remember the steps. Here’s a song that we’ve been enjoying tying our shoelaces to, and here are a couple of poems you can choose from.
Use a shoelace board
Shoelace boards are a travel-friendly and hygienic way for your child to practice tying shoelaces. You can purchase a wooden one or you can DIY one. A DIY shoelace board gives you more customisation options like 2 shoelace colours to help your child differentiate the different sides—you can even get your child to thread through the shoelaces to help them practice their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
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