Have no fear, I've got a few tricks up my sleeves that can make teaching a kid to tie his own shoes a bit easier. All kids learn differently, so try a few of these methods and see what works best for your child.
1. Bunny Ears
Probably the most common method for teaching kids to tie their own shoes is the "Bunny Ears" method.
- Tell the child that he needs to make his shoe laces into "bunny ears."
- First, he needs to secure a knot for the bunny's head. Take the laces and cross them over to make an "X". Then, pull one ear through the bottom of the "X" and pull tight.
- Say, "Now we need to give bunny some ears." Loop the laces into "bunny ears".
- Tell the child that now we need to "make the bunny ears tight so they don't fall off". Then make another "X" using the "bunny ears", slide one "ear" under the "X" and pull tightly.
2. Bi-Colored LacesThis is a great tip that can really make learning to tie much easier. Take two laces in two different colors and cut them down the middle. Then sew them together to make two bi-colored laces. Lace a pair of old shoes with these funny shoes strings. Using bi-colored laces can really help a kid who has trouble remembering his right from his left. You can use any learning-to-tie method in combination with your bi-colored laces.
3. Cardboard Cut-Out ShoeTake a cardboard box and cut out an over-sized shoe shape. Have your kid decorate the shoe in any way he wishes. Using a pen, poke holes for laces. Use the bi-colored lace tip above, but instead of cutting the original laces in two, use two entire laces sewn together to create one long, bi-colored shoe string. Lace the shoe and use any teaching method, using this cut-out. Some kids find it easier and more interesting to practice on an over-sized model.
4. The Squirrel and the Tree
This is a fun method that utilizes a kid friendly story and movements that help kids understand and remember the basic steps to shoe tying.
- Tell the child to create "tree roots" by making a starter knot.
- Make a tree with a long thin loop; hold the loop in the child's right hand.
- With his left hand, take hold of the lace and tell him that a squirrel runs around the tree and jumps into the hole under the tree and comes out the other side (he'll need to switch hands at this point which can be difficult for some kids).
Many parents prefer this trick because it teaches the kid to tie shoes with the single loop method.
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