Fine Motor Skills

Shoe Tying Tips for Children with Motor Difficulties

For an adult, shoe tying is an easy task. But for children, tying shoes isn’t exactly a cake walk.

Shoe tying is a skill that needs to be mastered. You can’t just give your child a pair of shoes with laces and expect that he’s going to know how to tie them. It takes time, patience, persistence, and guidance.

Shoe tying can be a difficult skill for typically developing children to master, but it can be even more challenging for kids with motor skill impairments. A variety of fine motor skills need to be used and work together in unison in order to tie a pair of laces, including fine motor skills, bimanual hand use, good hand strength and good visual motor abilities.

If your child has been diagnosed with a motor skill deficiency, you and a San Diego pediatric occupational therapist can use different tactics to teach him how to master this skill.

Place the Shoe or Practice Show on the Lap

It can be difficult to teach a child to tie a shoe while he is wearing it. Instead of wearing the shoe, have your child place it on his lap. Doing so will allow him to stable the shoe and have better control over it.

Use Different Colored Laces

Cut two different colored laces and tie them together, or you can purchase laces that come in two different colors.

The different colors will allow your child to easily see where each lace needs to go and how to push one under the other.

Use Stiff Laces

The stiffer the laces, the easier they are to work with.

Stiffer laces retain their shape and make it easier to form those ‘bunny ears’ and push the laces under each other.

With these tips and guidance from a San Diego pediatric occupational therapist, your child will be well on his way to tying his own shoes in no time!

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