Is that child that you are teaching how to tie struggling?

If they are challenged by this skill…think about their age? You may feel 4, 5 or 6-year-old are ready but aren’t capable…so there is quite a range. Also how is their hand function? Do they have a dominant hand yet? If not, maybe some more skills with both hands need to come first (bilateral integration). Until the 2 hands can work together well, a solid hand dominance may lag. Play ball, bounce it to one another, throw overhead to start, bounce up against a wall and catch it. Are they using crayons, scissors, utensils and other manipulatives that strengthen their fingers and hands? Do you see the breakdown in the sequencing of the steps? Consider tying the shoe yourself, using all the words to guide them, then just backward chain it so they get the feeling of just grabbing the loops and pulling it tight. Next time, have them push the loop through and grab the loops and pull tight. Each time, let them do a step with success and eventually they will be independent. Hoorah! Finally don’t forget to start with the shoe off, put it at eye level. The kiddo may be needing to see it up close and personal and not try to be a pretzel with their body while they tie. Using an old shoe with two different color laces can also help the teaching process when directing what to do with each loop. Keep your sense of humor…and practice just once a day!

“Good things are not done in a hurry” a German proverb

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