In the age of velcro straps and slip-on shoes, the skill of tying shoelaces has been forgotten.
As children enter their foundation phase schooling years, they become more independent with self-dressing. Children should begin to learn to tie their shoelaces between the ages of
5 and 7 years old.
Tying shoelaces requires strong fine motor skills, including; finger isolation, hand-eye coordination, and hand strength. As well as promoting self-confidence and independence.
Learning to tie shoelaces for the first time can be rewarding yet frustrating as children become overwhelmed.
To avoid tears and foster a positive learning experience, follow these simple tips:
- Let your children pick their own shoes; this makes it more exciting and attractive.
- Start practicing with the shoe NOT on their foot. Place it either on a table or on their lap.
- Choose a time during the day when you won’t be rushed. After school as opposed to during your morning routine and do this daily!
- Show your child your own shoes while they practice along with their own shoe.
- To avoid confusion, practice one step at a time. Master the first step before moving into the next.
- Choose a method and stick to it. Whether it be the traditional method or the ‘bunny ear.’
- Avoid using left and right unless your child is aware of and is adept at using these terms.
- Instead, use stickers or different coloured laces, then use the terms sticker or nonsticker,or red and blue lace.
- Most importantly, have patience and remain calm. Tying shoes requires many advanced.
Enjoy this learning experience with your child. This is an important milestone in their lives and a life skill they will never forget.