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How to Tie a Shoe

A step-by-step guide for teaching your young child how to tie her shoes

We face a crisis in this country, brought on by a seemingly benign menace called Velcro. Yes, Velcro-closed shoes may make parenting easier and old age more appealing, but they also threaten to destroy a childhood rite.

Help preserve traditional skills and teach your child to tie shoes!

Tips:

Tying a shoe requires a level of dexterity most kids don't possess until they're between 5 and 7, so take it slow. Teach tying side-by-side or sit your child between your legs and practice on an old shoe with soft laces. If you like, color one half of the lace with a marker to make the two sides less confusing.

Step 1
Take one lace in each hand and make an X. Draw the top lace through the bottom of the X and pull the two laces tight. Then make a loop out of each lace. Hey, look — bunny ears.

Step 2
Cross one "ear" over the other, in the opposite order of your overhand knot.

Step 3
Explain how "the bunny runs around the tree" by bending one loop over the other (okay, suspend disbelief — one ear has become a tree).

Step 4
Now "the bunny sees a dog and jumps in the hole": Pass the tip of the bent ear through the hole.

Step 5
Pull loops tight. For extra security, you can double the knot by making another overhand knot with the loops.

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