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Tying his own shoes

It'll take practice and patience (from you both!), but most 5- and 6-year-olds are ready to tackle the skill of lacing-up. Your child's dexterity and hand-eye coordination are better now, and his attention span is longer, which means he's able to focus more.

In addition to one less chore for you, there's another bonus when he learns to tie: The confidence he's building will come in handy as other milestones approach (think taking off the training wheels or attending a birthday party without you). If he becomes very frustrated, take a break and try again in a week or so.

Here's how to get started:

  • Consider getting laces in two different colors (it may be easier to teach him by saying "the blue one" rather than "the right" or "the left").
  • Have him cross the laces to create an "X."
  • Slide one under the other and pull.
  • Form loops or "bunny ears" with each lace.
  • Cross the "ears" and tuck one under the other (tell him the bunny is crawling through a hole), then tighten.
  • Tie alongside him if you're both right- or left-handed; if you're not, sit opposite each other so your motions will match his.