Learning to tie your own shoes is a rite of passage for most children.
Adults have been tying their shoes for so long, it's hard to slow
down and think about what you do so you can teach your child. Once
this sometimes-difficult skill is mastered, parents and children
rejoice because a child can dress himself with little or no assistance
from mom or dad. Tie Buddies ($8.99) is an ingenious little helper
that will have your kids tying their own shoes with ease almost
from the start. Tie Buddies contains a set of four beads (one for
each shoe lace) with colorful pictures on top and two holes through
the middle. The shoelace is looped through both holes so that when
the child holds the Tie Buddies, a loop is automatically formed.
Hence, with no messy loops to try to hold onto, the child only
has to loop the Tie Buddies once around and through, then once
again, and the shoes are tied. We made up a little story about
the cars on the Tie Buddies going around the mountain and then
through the tunnel. My five-year-old son had the process figured
out in half an hour or so. Not bad! Once your child has mastered
the process, you can remove one of the Tie
Buddies at a time and
help him learn how to master the loop. For a detailed illustration
of how the product works, check out this web page: http://www.tiebuddies.com/Learn_to_tie_your_shopes.html .
We found that with the thin shoelaces on my son's shoes, tying
a knot behind the Tie Buddies helped keep them in place. I should
also point out that untying his shoes became a bit more challenging
as we had to work around the Tie Buddies, but he figured this out
fairly quickly. I love ingenious ideas like the Tie
make a difficult skill easier to understand and learn! This clever
item will be used in our home as each child becomes ready to tackle
the wily world of shoelaces!