Back to school means back to football and the dreaded laces in the football boots (thankfully we have velcro shoes for school) – can your child tie theirs?
From a quick internet search it would appear that most children have the fine motor dexterity to tie their laces between the ages of four and six, but as with all skills different children will learn at different times. It is important to ensure your children learn this skill, even though alternatives are available as whilst velcro shoes and elastic “no lace” laces may be fun for your children they will need to learn how to tie their shoes eventually so it is a useful skill to acquire before it is required.
Ian’s Shoelace Site contains everything you ever wanted to know about shoelaces including step by step instructions for tying shoelaces. It has lovely clear illustrations drawn as though looking down at your own shoes whilst tying, and are colour-coded to make it easier to follow where the lace runs. The standard way can be found here and the other popular two-loop “bunny ears” version here.
When teaching your child to tie their shoelaces there are several things that you can do to help.
First, choose one method of lace tying, and teach it consistently. Make sure that everyone who may be trying to help your child learn this skill is demonstrating it in the same way otherwise they may get confused.
When you are demonstrating the lace tying make sure that you and your child are side by side rather than opposite each other, that way they’ll be able to copy your movements rather than mirror them.
Lastly, remember to give your child lots of encouragement and praise and if they find it too difficult this time leave it for a few weeks and try again.