Many children are determined to become big kids by practicing to get their shoes on independently. Most kids don’t care if they are on the proper side. They just that they get the shoes on successfully! Here are some tips to help you on their journey to success.
Mark the Insides of the shoes.
If they have trouble remembering which side goes on which foot, add a little dot or stickers to the inside of the sole to help them remember that they like to be friends and they go together.
Mark the Dominant Side.
If they know which side is their dominant side, for instance, which hand they eat their fork with, put a star on that shoe. It is a great reminder!
Practice putting shoes on the correct feet (Does it feel comfortable? Is there a big ‘V’ when you put your feet together? If so, it means that your shoes need to be changed. Put the big toe of the shoes together, so there is no ‘V’).
Master taking shoes off before getting them on.
Watch out for the tongue.
Make sure that your child holds onto the tongue of the shoe so it does not slide to the toe of the shoe and make it impossible for them to get on.
Develop a reward system.
Reward each incremental step of learning with a small reward of your choice (sticker, cookie etc.). At first, acknowledge each time they successfully get their shoes off. Then move onto getting their shoes on and finally ensuring that they are safe and secure on their feet!
Have a child show your child how to do it.
Kids are the experts. They have most recently learned how to tie their shoes and they often are better teachers to their peers than we are as adults! Kids motivate each other in a positive way.
It will take a long time to master independence. Start early with simple skills!
Sometimes in our busy rush of life, we stop the learning process. Many times kids need to learn simply by being forced to learn. Slow down, don’t rush your child and give them the freedom to learn at their own pace.