When a child learns how to put on his/her own shoes…it is like a small weight has been lifted. It’s one thing you can remove from your “to do” list prior to leaving the house. It is wonderful!
Here are just a few ways we encouraged Big Brother to put his own shoes on:
- Buy Velcro Shoes (for now, anyway): Velcro shoes are so much easier for children to put on and you don’t have to worry about tying their shoelaces! There will be a time and place for children to learn how to tie tennis shoes…but wait until they have the fine motor control to manipulate the laces (anywhere between 4 and 6 years…I still had first graders in school who couldn’t tie their shoes). Velcro sandals are a lot easier to put on than velcro tennis shoes. I’m really hoping Big Brother can manage to put his own shoes on even as the weather gets colder because I’ve really gotten used to it!
- Encourage, encourage, encourage! Children need lots of encouragement! They’ll enjoy feeling “big” when they can do things themselves, but we also need to heap on the praise…especially when their intrinsic motivation is lagging.
- Put happy face stickers on the inside of the left and right shoes. This will help your child to know how to put the shoes on the right feet. When the happy faces are smiling at each other, the shoes are on the right feet! The stickers will wear off pretty quickly, so you could use permanent marker (if you don’t mind the fact that it is permanent)…or just keep a stockpile of smiley face stickers.What strategies have you used to teach your child to put his/her shoes on?