How to teach a child to tie their shoelaces?


Perhaps every parent at some point faces this difficulty. How to explain the algorithm of actions, how to demonstrate it clearly, and most importantly – to be patient with oneself and the child? These are the questions every concerned adult has asked themselves. In this article, we will discuss how to easily teach a child to tie their shoelaces.

Is it easier to avoid teaching?

Learning how to tie shoelaces is an essential part of a child’s development. Therefore, avoiding the learning process by buying shoes with other means of fastening the foot is not recommended. Mastering this skill not only allows the child to dress themselves without adult assistance but also helps develop basic motor skills at an early age. Although there is no strict “age for tying shoelaces,” most children learn this in the first grade of elementary school.

Understanding children’s difficulties in learning to tie shoes will help deal with the child’s problems correctly. Usually, children have the following difficulties:

  • Remembering the algorithm of actions;
  • Concentrating on the process;
  • Coordinating the necessary precise movements.

Typically, children learn this process between the ages of 4 and 6, and in some cases even at three years old. This is due to the fact that a child’s development after the first year is characterized by sufficient motor skills, coordination of movements, and attention.

However, there are different methods for quickly teaching a child to tie their shoelaces, such as buying necessary devices, using simplified schemes, or using psychological techniques.

Let’s teach the child to tie shoelaces in different ways.

Certainly, humanity has not yet come up with a universal method for teaching children how to tie their shoelaces. Remember that all children have different learning abilities, so don’t be discouraged if it seems like your child needs a little more time than usual. We have tried to select the most modern and effective methods.

Using colorful accessories

A popular technique for teaching children how to tie their shoes is using different colored accessories to fix the shoes. Different colors help children better visualize the tying process and understand the sequence of actions. For example, you can use two shoelaces of different colors to demonstrate each step of the tying process. This can help the child remember the sequence of actions. In addition, colorful shoelaces can promote the development of motor skills, as well as color perception and imagination.

Put the shoes on a table

We have already mentioned that teaching a child to tie shoelaces requires persistent training. And, naturally, it is not very comfortable to learn in a bent position. Put the shoes on a table or any other surface with good lighting. This method allows the child to learn on their own shoes, which are at a much more comfortable angle. This way, it will be easier for the child to see what their fingers are doing and they can calmly practice the technique. By the way, this method can be combined with the one described above.

Important! For training, it is recommended to use stiffer shoelaces. This is because the wire inside the accessory helps to keep the loops in place while the child works on the next step.

The Bunny Ear Method

Perhaps the most engaging way to teach a child to tie their shoelaces is through the Bunny Ear method. It’s not just about mastering a vital skill, but it’s also a fun game! Here’s a simple algorithm to teach a child how to tie their shoelaces, and a rhyme that accompanies the process will help them remember the steps:

  • Have the child take one lace in each hand.
  • Cross the laces over each other at the middle point.
  • Take one end of the first lace and thread it under the second.
  • When the knot is tied, have the child take both ends and pull tightly to ensure the knot is as close to the shoe as possible.
  • Now, form the “bunny ears.” Have the child fold both laces into loops, ensuring the “ears” have long tails.
  • Next, cross the middle of one loop with the middle of the other loop.
  • Have the child place the top part of one loop onto the corresponding part of the other and pull the knot through the resulting hole.
  • Finally, pull the loops to create a tight knot. To do this, insert fingers into the “bunny ears” that were formed earlier.

Done! To effectively teach a child how to tie their shoelaces, a rhyme about a bunny will be very useful in the challenging process. There are plenty of fun and easy-to-remember rhymes out there. Here’s an example of one of the most popular:

“Once there was a bunny who was awfully funny,

He tied up his shoe with a great big knot, it was so yummy.

He made a loop and pulled it through, then he laughed and said, ‘I’m through!'”

There are some nuances to keep in mind

We’ve provided three popular ways to teach a child to tie their shoelaces. Of course, even with these methods, practice and persistence are necessary. However, we want to give you a few more tips to help make the process a success:

  • Practice daily. Both the child and the parent should dedicate time to practicing this skill.
  • Use growth mindset. Explain to the child that they are capable of learning this skill and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
  • Make the training fun. This can be the game with a bunny, as we mentioned above, or accompanied by the child’s favorite music. In this case, a reward system can even be introduced to motivate the child to improve their ability.

The process should be positive, without yelling or tantrums. And how to teach a child to tie shoelaces – the choice is entirely yours!

We’ve provided the most popular and accessible options for teaching a child how to tie their shoelaces. Remember: criticism for unsuccessful attempts won’t lead to success. It’s better to encourage their efforts and praise them for every small success.

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