The preschoolers are all lined up on their little footprints ready to go outside for recess when we notice that one little girl with backwards shoes. “Sara,” I say, “Your shoes are on backwards.” Sara responds, “Which one is wrong?”
Seriously, though, this is the story of my life. We spend 30 minutes putting on shoes, turning coat arms right-side out, wrangling gloves so that there is 1 finger in each hole, finding hats, zipping the coats and lining up for our 20 minute recess time. Every.Single.Day.
Getting kids ready to go outside is absolutely exhausting, right?! That’s why we spend so much of our time practicing self-help skills and fostering independence. And that’s also why this 10-second shoe trick is an absolute lifesaver for helping kids get them on correctly and independently.
Left to their own devices, this is what happens. You would think that there is a 50/50 chance of our little ones putting their shoes on correctly. Nope! They always seem to put them on the wrong feet.
So we spend 10-seconds putting permanent marker dots to help them fix their shoes and get them on the correct feet. Many of our kids rely on their “magic” dots so much that when they come in with a different pair, or new shoes, or snow boots, they immediately ask for dots!
That’s it! Just a couple of Sharpie dots that the children match together when they place their shoes on the floor! Voila! When they put their feet into the shoes they are correct. Problem solved.
If you want a 30-second trick, sometimes I will draw little hearts or kissy lips instead of dots. But really, dots work just fine!
What other tips and tricks to do use to help your preschoolers master self-help skills independently?