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Shoe Tying Hack 101

Shoe Tying Hack 101

Teaching our child how to tie their shoes can be an exciting yet daunting task, this is usually when the lovely convenience of velcro comes into play but it can’t last forever.

Millions of parents and children worldwide tackle this milestone together, whether it’s watching Youtube videos, endless practices sessions in the morning (when we all normally just give in and end up doing it for them). If your child is 4- to 6-years-old and is able to button up their own shirt or draw with a pencil, they may be ready to learn how to tie their shoes.

There are many ways to tie your shoes, and some may be easier than others. Whether you are a trying to teach a child how to tie their shoes, or you're looking for a new technique, all you’ll need is a pair of patient hands and your favorite pair of shoes.

Remember to remain understanding and keep a sense of fun in the air – We were all kids once. Here are a few beginner tips on how to make this a smooth and hopeful process.

  1. Place the shoe on a flat surface: In the beginning its always helpful to start out by placing their shoe on their lap and pointing the toe outwards, to set the stage for a realistic shoe tie experience.

  2. The Tree Method: To make it easier for children, color the bottom of one shoelace brown, the middle part of the lace green, and the top part of the lace brown. This way, when you instruct them to make a loop with the lace, it can look like trying to form a “tree” by always making sure the green part of the lace is at the top of the loop, like the leaves at the top of a tree.

  3. Egg Carton: Yup, you read right, use an egg carton. Lace up the carton like it was a shoe, this is an easy cleaner method if you’re child is practicing on a daily basis around the home.

  4. The Bunny Ears: This hack should be thrown into the Smithsonian for all of the years and successful shoe tying to back it up. This age old trick is simple, straight forward and allows for your child to take simple steps that work perfectly with their small hands to achieve shoe tying success!

    1. Fold each end of the lace into a single "bunny ear." You can hold the "ears" in place between your thumb and pointer finger on each hand.

    2. Cross the bunny ears so that they form an "X" in the air.

    3. Loop the bottom bunny ear over and through the top bunny ear. This will create a second knot.

    4. Pull the bunny ears out to the side away from the shoe. This will create a square knot that will not easily come undone and will hold the shoe in place.

It won’t be easy and we can’t promise your child won’t come home with a million knots on their shoes but it’s one more way to empower and boost your child self esteem and motor skills. Now go out and parent and be AWESOME! :)

The True Meaning of Christmas

The True Meaning of Christmas

American culture teaches us that Christmas is all about Santa, gifts, and stringing cranberries, but the true meaning is so much more meaningful and beautiful. 

Building a family with a solid faith base is so powerful and rewarding. Christmas is a season where we reflect on the birth of our King and you can do so by showing kindness and giving. Sounds easy enough, right? Try teaching these fundamentals to a fidgety 3-5 year old. 

When I was a kid I remember having a typical 'American' Christmas but the core was always centered around Jesus. We would often donate gifts, volunteer at food banks, or participate in our local church activities. Looking back, all of those things really helped me appreciate the season and the different meanings it holds. It wasn't all about the presents, cookies, or my own self centered wants. 

Here are a few ways that might be helpful...

Be animated
Who doesn't love story telling? Why not make the story of Jesus the best story they'll ever here? How cool is it that three wise men follow a huge start to find jesus! 

Be intentional
I've learned that children want to learn, no matter the subject. They thrive on curiosity and asking questions. Try explaining the mindblowing love that Jesus has for us, and support it with facts from the bible in a way that a child could easily mentally digest. 

Break the news about Santa
As a kid, I can't recall a time where I actually believed in Santa. I think by growing up in a faith based home, I just knew that Jesus was the reason for the season (lucky rhyme)! But for those kiddos who still firmly believe in Saint Nick, how about breaking the news gently with a soft explanation. Execution is everything.

Now that they know Santa is out and Jesus is in, what now? Get them involved!
There is nothing better than getting the family involved in a community activity – especially when it involves helping the needy. Check out your local food or gift bank for the less fortunate, volunteering is a great way to teach your child about helping others, taking initiative, and being kind the way Jesus intended his children to be. 


Talk, Sing & Read

Talk, Sing & Read

It has been said that reading is important, especially in the first three years of a child's life. I was reading a quick, little article about the importance of reading with children and learned some interesting things. The statistics of how much children read (or are being read to) are surprisingly low. We have the opportunity to grow our children's literacy just by talking with them, singing a song to them (no matter how good or not so good you think you sound...hehe) & reading to them. We don't have to read long extravagant novels that could barely hold our attention, just simple little books that have a few sentence or so with some pictures. We can sing their favorite songs or ours, and just talk to them about the day.

The children love it! Eventually they'll even want to read to you, if they don't already. If you and your child/children do this already...AWESOME! You are "growing a reader". If not, you have the opportunity to begin now. Tater Tots Preschool is even having a Scholastic Book Sale currently. What a wonderful shot to take at growing and developing with your child/children. 

Did you get a chance to read the quick, little article? What do you think?

**Here is another small article from First5**