How to tie shoelaces

Teaching a child how to tie their shoelaces should be a fun experience centred around learning through play. We have a few ideas on how to best teach children how to tie shoelaces. 
If you think back, most of us probably won’t remember the day or moment we learnt to tie our shoelaces. However, it was a vital part of our early learning development that helped improve our hand-eye coordination and fine motors skills.

The learning process was most likely in the form of a fun activity which your mum or dad taught you. It probably even included a rhyme or story to go with it. Even though you learnt a key skill, the important part for you was the fun and excitement that went along with it. Early learning through play is key when it comes to helping children learn effectively.

The aim of any early learning experience is to make it fun, exciting and repetitive for maximum learning to occur. Here are a few tips to help a child learn to tie their shoelaces. They can be practised with your own children, or students you are teaching.

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Create a fun, visual game

Children learn through visual and language stimuli, so it’s not enough to tell them what to do without visual or practical ques, and vice versa. Consider making a fun shoelace tying game which they can practice daily.

One example, and there are many to be found on Pinterest, is the tissue box shoelace game. Use an empty tissue box and make holes in the side to thread the shoelaces through. The child can then practice tying the laces time and again either with their foot in or out of the tissue box until they have perfected it.

Putting your foot in a tissue box and pretending to tie your shoelace is surprisingly fun for children and will get a lot of giggles. Making a fun creative game of the exercise will ensure that the child will learn while playing.

Repetition and rhyming is key

Don’t you find it strange that sometimes you can remember rhymes or songs from childhood that you thought were long forgotten? The reason is that our brains learn through rhythm and rhyme. Our early learning brains devour information that is shown to us in this manner.

Create a step by step game of how to tie your shoelace with the child, sing it and even use dance as part of the learning process to help teach them each step.

You might even consider telling a story as part of this process, like the Bunny Ears Method of tying shoelaces. Teach the child to make two bunny ears by looping each lace and cross the bunny ears over each other. Then, run the bunny ears around the tree (i.e. loop one over the other). Suddenly, the bunny sees a dog and quickly jumps in the hole! The child then has to quickly pull the loops tight to save the bunny.

Stories, rhymes and repetition work extremely well in helping children learn a process and remember it. Plus, who doesn’t love a good story, right?

At  Active Kids Group, we believe in holistic approaches to learning that help improves the responsiveness and experience of early learning.

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