Tips On How to Teach Kids Put Their Shoes On
As adults, it beats all logic when kids can't get their shoes on; I mean, how hard could it be. Well, putting shoes on and all the nitty-gritty stuff that goes with it, like lacing up and which shoe goes on which foot, is far more complicated than you'd think- it requires a great deal of coordination, autonomy, and independence. And while some kids are furiously independent, others need a guiding hand to master "simple" tasks like putting their shoes on- it's all a learning process. We want to take the reins and divert your attention to five life-changing tips that will help your kids put their shoes on correctly.
5 Tricks to Help Your Kids Put Shoes on Correctly
- Hand-drawn shapes
Children, especially toddlers, respond well to images and colors. So rather than repeatedly sing left foot left shoe to them, get a marker and draw a picture they're familiar with on the innersoles. You could trace out any shape or image, from their favorite animal to the moon- the trick is to draw half of the image on one shoe and the other half on the other. Your mini-me will get that when the shoes are placed side by side, they'll have a full moon staring back at them.
- Sticky stickers
The effortless approach is to buy a sticker and cut it into half, place each half of the sticker on the sole of the shoes- this method works exceptionally well for slippers, sandals, and crocs. Get two pointy arrows or labeled stickers for kids that can read; one half could have their name, and the other may sport their surname. Additionally, you could never go wrong with the L and R tagging to represent the left and right foot, respectively. If this seems like a hack that could work for you, consider going for waterproof and scuff-proof stickers.
- Peg them
This method works like a charm for children spending most of their time at home. When organizing your kid's closet, take the time to peg their shoes together- and before you ask, yes, we're talking about laundry pegs. Arrange their little boots side-by-side in the walking direction and snap the shoe collars together; this will work incredibly well for rain boots and winter shoes. For slippers and sandals, you might want to explore other strategies.
- Dominant hands
While it's easier to draw on shoes, socks can prove to be a tad bit challenging; using a marker on your baby's cotton socks will only seep through, making a hideous mess. Instead, build on their dominant hand to enhance their socks’ identity. The kid might not tell left from right, but they sure know which hand they hold their fork with at the dinner table. Better yet, help your child put on their socks by asking them which hand they use to write in school, then inconspicuously mark the corresponding sock.
"Mommy, which foot!" is a statement we've all heard too often, and as a parent, your first instinct would be to step in and help out. Wrong! That's not how they learn. By infantilizing your child, you're establishing a pattern that will diminish their sense of accomplishment and problem-solving skills, instead employ the afore-mentioned tricks and watch them get it right. Tasks that seem mundane to you are not always as easy for your child; muster up some patience and persistence when it comes to children because you'll need it. Hey, someone had to teach you how to do it too, so don't overlook your learning curve and process. Practice and patience will serve you a long way.