Tying your own shoelaces.
It’s a right of passage that everyone goes through, but for some, those tricky shoe strings can tie a kid up in knots.
Perhaps it is part of the dysgraphia, or maybe a separate fine motor issue, but my son has really struggled to learn how to tie his laces. We tried everything.
That fancy new fandangled way of holding your laces so they seem to tie like magic? Utter failure and confusion.
Send the bunny through the bunny hole? He wanted to throw his shoe and the bunny into a deep, dark abyss.
We tried round laces, flat laces, black laces, white laces, nylon laces, cotton laces, short laces, long laces.
Bunny ears gave us a glimmer of hope but the laces seemed to get hopelessly confused and muddled up in my boy’s fumbling fingers more often than not.
And these repeated failures were making it harder and harder to convince Jackson to persevere. We’d been trying to teach him how to tie his shoes for almost a year, and we were getting no where. He was completely frustrated, losing confidence, and I was at a loss how to help him.
I spent hours researching ideas and kept coming up empty handed, yet I knew he couldn’t be the only child struggling with this problem.
Finally, during a phone chat with an occupational therapist, she mentioned using coloured laces. We played with this idea and finally came up with something that works!
Here is what you need :
White cotton laces
Fabric paint or fabric markers
Stretch out the shoelace and measure to the midpoint. Wrap a piece of tape marking off the end of the midpoint. Now paint one end of the shoelace with your fabric paint. Let them dry, then lace up those shoes and get your kid tying!
That’s it! So simple!
And I think the final result looks pretty cool, and so does Jackson. And what kid doesn’t love a pair of custom kicks?
By having the contrasting colours my son can keep better track of where the laces are going. It’s also easier to coach him through the process because he knows exactly which lace I am referring to.
You can get creative and paint each side a different colour. Or you could do polka dots on one side and stripes on the other. The possibilities are endless!
Tip: For my homeschooling friends, this absolutely counts as art class!
But the most important thing? My son has gained so much confidence from finally mastering this right of passage. He now understands that creativity can be applied to almost any situation to help solve a problem, even one he had deemed impossible.
I hope this trick helps some other struggling kiddos! If you have any other shoe tying tricks, feel free to share in the comments below.