Child Development How to Teach a Child to Tie Shoelaces

The key to learning is having fun. These step by step instructions will help parents teach children how to tie shoelaces. The children have fun and the parents have a few extra moments in the morning while their kids get dressed on their own.

Teaching your child to tie his or her shoelaces is not just a coordination challenge, but it is a confidence builder and time saver. Once your son or daughter is on the way to dressing without parental help, you are on the way to an extra two minutes of free time: enough time to warm up that last cup of coffee or chow down on a breakfast bar.

For a lot of parents, explaining the shoe tying process to a five-year-old can be a source of anxiety. In fact, with new Velcro shoes and slip-on versions it is tempting to wait even longer to teach a child how to wear "grown up" shoes. But, there is no reason to postpone your lesson, because this article will help you step by step.

One of the easiest ways to get a child to learn a new task is to make the activity fun. For this reason, sticking to the old but faithful Bunny Ear technique will make most children eager to start tying their shoes in the morning. Just follow these four easy steps:

  1. First have your child set the shoe in front of him / herself, facing away as if it were on his or her foot.
  2. Next, taking the laces in each hand tell your child the bunny needs to stretch. To stretch, your child must make an X by laying the laces across each other. Then have your child pull one of the lace tips through the bottom of the X and pull tight. Now the bunny has stretched. Some people refer to this step as making the bunny's face. Whatever story you decide to tell, your child is now halfway to tying his / her shoe. And, that is great!
  3. For the third step, the bunny needs some ears. With each lace have your child pull back to form a loop. Once completed, have your child hold each loop in place with his / her corresponding hand. Help might be needed the first few times your child tries to grasp the loop. That can be a lot of lace for one small hand to hold.
  4. Now for the final step: standing up the bunny's ears. To make the bunny's ears stand up your child needs to once again make an X with the loops. Then pass one of the loops through the bottom of X and pull tight. Now the bunny has ears and your child has tied his / her first shoe!

Now try the same process with the shoe on your child's foot. Remember, the shoe will look different from this perspective, so don't worry if you have to give a little extra encouragement along the way. Your child already knows the steps so he or she will pick up the task much faster this time around.

With the Bunny Ears technique successfully in motion, you can now enjoy an extra moment to catch your breath and your child can go show off the new skill he or she has learned. Congratulations.