Recently Poppet has mastered the art of tying shoe laces. She’s been able to tie knots for over a year but bows were a write-off at that point! Last week she learnt to do her bows in about 10 minutes!
‘How is this possible?’ I hear you cry. Well, here are my three top tips to make this challenging task a lot less stressful (for child and parent!)
1. Wait until they’re ready!
Over a year ago Poppet first asked if we could teach her how to tie laces. So we dutifully bought her a fake wooden shoe (well, she didn’t have any real ones with laces – they’re all velcro these days aren’t they?!) and showed her how to do it. After a lot of tantrums (from her and us!) the wooden shoe was relegated to an under bed storage drawer and forgotten about. When she said last week that she wanted to learn to tie laces again we had a little hunt and luckily retrieved the shoe!
2. Make it fun 🙂
There are lots of ways to make learning fun and with lace tying it’s actually remarkably easy:
- Before getting on to actual lace tying, spend some time playing lacing games – cotton reels or beads on laces and lacing cards are great. You don’t have to buy lacing cards as it’s easy to make your own (although the Early Learning Centre ones are strong, cheap and colourful), but the most important thing is to have a firm, fray free end to your laces.
- Try tying on a large scale – we had a go with skipping ropes in the garden. It was fun and we had a lot of laughs getting out of the knots we found ourselves in!
- There are also some cute rhymes (some of which I remember from 30 years ago when I learnt to tie laces on a cardboard picture of a shoe with holes punched in it!) The rhymes mainly seem to revolve around bunnies but, with a bit of imagination, I’m sure they could be adapted to suit any child’s interests. We stuck with a version of the bunny rhyme from my childhood: Over, under, around and through, meet Miss Bunny, pull her through.
- If you need to model the process it can be best to sit behind your child with your arms around them – Poppet found this hilarious!
3. Stay calm!
I know this can be easier said than done, but I would say that if things are getting too stressful then maybe your child isn’t quite ready.
Good luck and let me know if you beat our 10 minutes!