Sayings That Help Children Learn to Tie a Shoe

by Dana Tuffelmire

Peruse the youth athletic shoe aisle and you'll likely see a huge selection of shoes fastened with Velcro or elastic, with nary a shoelace in sight. Although convenient, your child will eventually grow into a shoe with laces and he'll need to tie them. According to education.com, most kids have the fine motor coordination and mental capacity to remember the steps involved in shoe-tying between ages 4 and 6. Catchy rhymes, songs or sayings can help your child learn to tie his shoes with ease.

Sing It!

Help your child remember the process of shoe-tying with a song that she can sing anytime, anywhere. Sing to the tune of "Splish, Splash," by Bobby Darin: Make an "X" and go under the bridge, then you have to pull it out tight. Make a loop and keep a long tail, that is how to do it right. Wrap that tail around the loop, push it through the hole and tug. Tighten those laces, whoop, whoop, Now you deserve a great big hug!

Tell a Story

A short story can help your child remember how to arrange his laces into a firm knot. Use an animal or character he's interested in to craft a quick tale. For example: "Batman was in his hideout (pull laces up and cross one under the other to form a tent shape) when it collapsed (pull on each end to make a tight knot). So he jumped into the Batmobile, (make first loop for bow) drove around the block, (wrap other lace around loop) and parked inside Robin's cave to create a plan (push lace under new loop and pull to tighten).

Rhyme It!

A quick rhyme is fun to recite and easy for your child to remember each step of the shoe-tying process. Make an "X", here we go. Pull one side under, now I know! Pull the ends tight, and make a loop. Wrap around the bottom, I've got the scoop! Push through the hole, pull it through once more. Tighten both ends, and give a whoop!

Bunny Ears

Teach your child an easy method by making two loops and joining them in a knot. Although not as tight as the traditional tie, it is a good starting place. Describe the loops as "Bunny Ears" to provide a visual image for your child. Start with the first over-under knot already in place. Take one lace and make a rabbit's ear. Hold the ear tight at the bottom while you make his other ear. Fold one ear under the other and pull the ears tight.

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