What approach can you use to teach a child to tie their shoe laces? What approaches are known, and how long should it take?
There is more than one way to do it. The two approaches below work for both children and adults. It takes about a hundred or so tries to fully master each approach, depending on the age and dexterity of the child. It is easier to practice with the shoe off and in front of you, as shown in the videos.
- Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes | TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/terry_moore_how_to_tie_your_shoes
Terry Moore found out he'd been tying his shoes the wrong way his whole life. In the spirit of TED, he takes the stage to share a better way.
NOTE: The above video shows how to tie the doubly slipped reef knot, instead of the less secure granny knot (also see below).
- An Even Better Way to Tie Your Shoe Lace | Hanna Michaelis | TEDxCoeurdalene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqXZHA46wTU
In this talk by teenager Hanna Michaelis (and featuring her father Mark Michaelis as her mostly capable assistant), Hanna will describe a much faster way to tie your shoes.
Shoelace knot - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoelace_knot
The shoelace knot is a doubly slipped reef knot [...]. [...] The loops are sometimes referred to as "bunny ears", especially when the knot is taught to children. [...]
There are several ways to tie a shoelace knot; each starts with the tying of a half hitch, and requires attention or some habitual mechanism for arriving at a knot that is an elaboration of the reef (or square) knot rather than of the granny (or lubber's) knot. If the bow is horizontal across the opening the bow is correctly and securely tied, but if vertical is likely to slip. One approach is to start by taking, in each hand, the end of the lace that emerges from the uppermost eyelet on that hand's side of the shoe; then passing the dominant hand's end under the other end, from front toward back, and dropping each lace on the opposite side from where it started; and in the finishing step again grasping the lace on each side with the hand on that side (perhaps taking time to note that because each end crossed over the shoe before, the laces have switched hands - or vice versa, the hands have switched laces) and again passing the dominant hand's end under the other end, from front toward back. [...]
Tying two consecutive right-over-left half knots (or two consecutive left-over-right half knots) produces, instead of a square-knot-like bow-knot, a much less secure version corresponding to the granny knot. This version will also produce asymmetrical slips; one pointing down, the other up.
I'm using this technique here which involves coloring coding a white lace to match up the areas and using a knot as a guide. Hope this helps,
My daughter isn't quite there so I have not tried this book, but I recently saw it and saved it for when we get there. It is a step by step illustrated book with left/right color coded laces built into the book. https://www.montessoriservices.com/red-lace-yellow-lace
No matter what, giving them somewhere to practice tying using a dressing board or similar item will make it easier for them to learn, as they can practice each step and movement more easily on a flat surface on a table rather than hunched over their shoes. Make it an activity to do alongside coloring or other things they like doing!