Teaching children to tie their own shoelaces can be a challenge for the patience of parents, which is why many decide to delay that learning and continue resorting to Velcro shoes or slip-ons. on.
However, learning to tie your shoelaces is not another step towards children’s autonomy, it also represents one of the first tasks in which the child will have to combine the movements of fine motor skills with eye-hand coordination. Plus, it’s a great exercise to build independence and self-confidence.
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5 tips for teaching your child to tie shoelaces
1. Wait for the right moment
Children follow different lines of development, so not everyone is ready at the same age to learn to tie their shoes. Most acquire the necessary skills between the ages of 4 and 5, although girls are usually ready a little earlier. However, every little one is different, so before you teach him to tie his shoes, you should make sure that he already has the necessary manual skills. Of course, he must also be willing to learn. Also, you should choose a quiet time, it is not convenient that you try to teach him while you are in a hurry to get to work. You’d better pick a weekend.
2. Become your child’s role model
A large part of what children learn is done by imitating adults, and especially their parents, who are their role models preferred. Therefore, if you want your child to learn to tie their shoelaces, all you have to do is become their learning pattern. This means that you will have to arm yourself with patience and tie the shoelaces several times, slowly, so that the child imitates your movements. It is convenient that you resort to games and songs, so that you make this learning a fun moment.
3. Teach him how to use his fingers
Tying 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 laces and pass them from one side to the other. It may seem very simple to you, but remember that children find it difficult to perform that kind of movement. It will be enough for you to help him hold the cord and guide him, first by placing your hand on his, and then instructing him to do it himself.
4. Show him the movements to make the bow
Once the child has learned to maneuver with the laces, it is time to teach him the movements of the bow. First, he must learn to make a crisscross X, with the ends of the cord, and to pull strongly on both. The second step is to make a rabbit ear out of one end of the cord, while taking the other end and looping it around the loop. Then, with your thumb and forefinger, you need to take the cord around the loop to pass it through the bunny ear. Once the cord has been passed, you should pull on both sides, always in opposite directions, until the loop knot is secure.
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 will have to arm yourself with patience because most children they need several repetitions before achieving their first loop. Likewise, you’ll need to keep practicing, until the movements become automatic.
Print (preferably on cardboard), cut out the edge of the shoe and holes for the laces… and practice. 🙂