Learning to cope with shoe laces - Bubbablue and me

Shoe laces – a big mistake

N’s feet have finally grown.  His school shoes still fit ok but he needed new trainers which are always harder to buy.  His insteps aren’t particularly high, he’s an F fitting, but velcro fastenings never seem long enough on trainers for some reason.

Learning to cope with shoe laces - Bubbablue and me

So we headed off to Brantano to find some trainers in the hope they’d have enough choice there and which weren’t ridiculously priced given they’ll get wrecked fairly quickly.  They confirmed his feet had grown, only 1/2 a size since Easter last year, but we did manage to find 5 pairs of shoes that were his size and weren’t covered in cartoon characters (just why have them?!).

A couple were velcro only fastenings, 1 was velcro with the elasticated ‘laces’ and the others were different colour variants of a trainer with shoe laces.  Big mistake showing N the latter.

We decided that the velcro only pairs were too narrow or didn’t fasten tight enough, but the funky blue pair with velcro/elastic were great.  Not a problem, he liked them…until he spotted and tried on the red ones.

My heart sank because N can’t yet tie shoe laces.  Well, he can tie them in his own way with lots of knotting and tucking in (and then can’t undo them again).  But that’s not practical for taking them on and off in school.  Of course they were also the more expensive ones.  I tried to encourage him to try on the blue ones again but he wouldn’t hear of it.

So the deal was I would buy them and he would have to practise tying shoe laces and until he could do so, I’d buy him some elastic kids friendly laces.

Of course it didn’t work quite like that.  After a first time of showing him (even the easy version), he wasn’t keen on trying again and kept saying they were annoying.  Admittedly reaching his feet is quite hard for little arms, but if I can do it with my inflexibility I’m sure he should be able to at 5 years old.  I thought he’d be keen to learn because he said his best friend knows how, but obviously N isn’t one for peer pressure.

So Monday and Tuesday until the shoe laces I ordered arrived, he had to rely on his own dubious method of tying (which to be fair did seem to work ok), or the teachers.  Which isn’t practical or fair on them.  They’re probably moaning about me buying them!

The curly shoe laces arrived and I spent ages threading them through to replace the normal laces.  They looked ok and definitely looked elastic enough to hold the foot in for him when running around or doing sport.  But I’d not factored in N.

This morning you’d have thought I was asking him to never ride on a tractor again.  He wasn’t happy with the shoes – they hurt, they were too tight with those laces in, he wanted laces again.  Ok, so they were a struggle for me to get on him, so I hope he got used to it and they eased during the day, but we didn’t have time for me to change them back to normal laces.  After him having removed his trainers 3 times before we left, he ended up refusing to get out of the car when we got to school, and then clinging to me because I’d told him off trying to get him out.

So big mistake letting him have his own way about trainers with shoe laces.

Every night he’ll be having to add shoe lace tying to his reading and learning words homework.  Otherwise it’s going to drive me insane if I have moaning about the trainers every day.

How old were your children when they learnt to tie shoe laces?  How did you teach them?

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  1. I am sooo right there with you right now. Suddenly shoes seem to be laces only rather than velcro for my sons size. He is slowely learning to tie his laces and I too have added it to our daily learning.

    1. Thankfully he’s now happy with the elastic curly ones, so I can teach him taking a bit more time. I think most say kids are age 6/7 when they learn so plenty of time thankfully.

  2. Oh I’ve so been there and it’s a real challenge isn’t it? I learnt my lesson with my first child and I’ve vowed Little Mister isn’t having shoe laces until he’s at least 12!!
    I made one of these for Mademoiselle so she could practise at home, in the car, in bed whilst reading…wherever. I think it did speed on her ability to tie laces but it did take a while. Best of luck!

    1. That’s basically the green wooden lacing shoe I have that I bought from a nearly new sale. Although it’s persuading N to actually practise that’s the hard bit.

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