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Tie Buddies

By Wendy Welling
Widget Works, Inc.

848 N. Rainbow Road, #2464
Las Vegas, NV 89107

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: .

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 Buddies, which 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!

Product review by Dr. Anne Margaret Wright, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine , LLC, August 2010

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