We are lucky enough to have an OT back on staff and we have been loving the collaboration and idea generation!
We have had quite a few kids come in that aren’t able to tie their shoes, and while velcro is an option, some of them want the shoes that have laces. So, in order to work on this skill she created a shoe tying board. It simplifies the task slightly so they can practice before applying it to their actual shoes. What is also great is she used two different materials for the laces. The pipe cleaner holds it form easier than a lace so the child can learn the coordination, motor planning, and timing of tying a bow. Once they get that down, they can switch to a lace to practice. The nice thing is that if they need to revisit the pipe cleaner to freshen up the ‘how to’ of tying the bow they can, and then can immediately carry it over to the lace which won’t hold its form and you have to hold on until you are finished because if you let go, your bow will fall apart.
Once the child is successful here, you can move onto the actual shoe, possibly starting with the shoe off the foot before trying with it on the foot. Just some ideas for grading the difficulty of the skill so that it is easier for a child to master.
What other tools and techniques have you used to work on shoe tying?