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learning

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! :)

Learning with Play Dough

Learning with Play Dough

Who loves play dough? Most people, right? The children love to play with it and us parents...well...we like playing too, but dread the cleaning up part. Let's forget about the cleaning part for now and talk about learning with play dough. An awesome lady, Kim, has created a fun way of learn with play dough and cute mats. There are a few mat designs of the different seasons, but I am really drawn to the tree mat. She's created counting mats up to the number 10. You and your child can create the shape of each number together, as well as, make that many fruits (out of dough) to go on to the trees. Another awesome thing about this project is that these mats are available to download for free! Isn't that awesome!! Thank you, Kim! 

If you're super crafty, or not, you can even make your own dough. There are several recipes out there, but one I've used was here, and you don't even have to cook it. I didn't use the glycerin also.

Hope you enjoy learning and playing! 

(In case you missed where the links were to Kim's website: click "play dough and cute mats" and the recipe for the no cook play dough is linked under the word "here")