Teach Your Child to Tie Shoelaces

I’ve been feeling a bit like a slacker mom since hearing my 6 year old tell me that her friends have been tying her shoelaces at school. We attempted some practice before the school year started, but it just wasn’t clicking for her. A quick search on teaching children to tie their laces brought me to two excellent resources: this shoe-tying practice board from Salsa Pie (via PBS Parents), and some great tips from Teach Mama.

I loved the ease of flat cardboard to practice on, and I knew that having different colored laces would really help my kids to see which lace they were working with. I also wanted to find a simple verse to help them remember what to do next.

There are quite a few here, and the one that I chose was short and not overly complicated (each line of the verse is a new step). But, even though it’s short and simple, I knew the chances of me remembering it while I was trying to teach them were pretty slim, so I went ahead and wrote the verse right on the box next to the “shoes”!  And, since one lace had plenty of length for lacing and tying, I simply colored half of the lace with a black Sharpie.

My 6 year old was clearly ready this time.  We sat side by side, and I showed her step-by-step how to follow the verse to remember each step and SHE GOT IT!  I couldn’t believe how quickly she picked up on it this time!

My 4 year old (who turns 5 next week!) had a little bit of a harder time with “putting the arrow through the bow,” but she’s a tenacious little girl and I have no doubt she’ll get it down within a few days of practicing. :)

All of the elements of this shoe-tying board were important to make the activity as successful as it could be: e.g. having two shoes together so I could demonstrate along side my child, including the verse on the board so that my kids (and I) could refer to it if we forgot what comes next, and having two-toned laces to help differentiate which lace we’re working on during each step. Also, I found flip-flops to be much easier to trace than sneakers since they’re completely flat.

If you’re looking for some help teaching your child to tie his or her laces, I hope these tips and trick help you as much as they did me!

Have you already taught your children to tie their laces? What worked for you?


Tutorial: 3 No-Sew Halloween Onesies

My littlest is an October baby. She was born a week before Halloween and I only had one halloween-y outfit for her, which she wore to a pumpkin patch and completely swallowed her up. I remember that when it came time to go trick-or-treating with my then 16-month-old daughter I wanted my newborn to be comfy, so I dressed her in a simple onesie and situated her snugly into her sling.

Looking back, I was glad she was comfy that night, but I still wish, for the sake of pictures and such, that I had at least dressed her in a more festive onesie.

Please, don’t make my mistake. ;)  Make a couple of these. They’re so easy and so fun to make that there’s no reason for your little one to not be dressed for the occasion this Halloween.



To start with, pick up some onesies in whatever size you need. I made these in size 0-3 months, but you can adapt the tutorial to any size, even a regular t-shirt for your big kid.  If you can find them in the right color…Awesome!  If not, just pick up some RIT and follow Dana’s instructions for dying fabric.  I dyed these in purple, orange, and black and the color came out beautiful on all of them.


Skeleton Onesie Tutorial

What you need…

(not pictured is a paint brush, which you’ll need to help apply the glue neatly)

  • Cut a rectangle from the freezer paper about the size of your onesie and insert between the layers, with the shiny side facing up (this will help keep the glue from going all the way through and sticking the front to the back).
  • Repeat for each of the sleeves.
  • Cut the ric rac according to the size of your onesie. Cut one piece for the “spine” and 8 smaller pieces for the “ribs.” I cut 4 sets of increasing length ranging between 2″ and 2 1/2″.  (Use a lighter to seal the ends so that they don’t fray.)
  • Arrange the ric-rac on your onesie until you are satisfied with its placement.
  • Use paintbrush to carefully apply a layer of glue to the ric-rac then press it into place on the onesie.

This skeleton onesie was totally inspired by the simple effectiveness of this skeleton costume.


Spiderweb Onesie Tutorial

What you need….

(not pictured is a paint brush, which you’ll need to help apply the glue neatly)

  • Cut a rectangle from the freezer paper about the size of your onesie and insert between the layers, with the shiny side facing up (this will help keep the glue from going all the way through and sticking the front to the back).
  • Use your paintbrush to carefully apply the fabric glue to your doily. Start at the center and work your way out, stopping just before you get to the outermost edge.
  • Set doily into place, then press with your fingers.
  • Once the doily has set for a couple minutes, lift the unglued edges and use your paintbrush to finish gluing the underside of the doily.
  • Now cut a rectangle of black felt about 1 1/4″ by 2 1/2″.
  • Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise and cut around the outer edge of the spider shape, as shown below. Then cut 3 slits into the side…making 4 little spider legs.
  • Apply fabric glue to the spider’s body use your fingers to press into place on the doily.
  • Once the spider’s body has set for a couple minutes, lift each leg and carefully apply the glue, spreading the legs as you press them into place.


Mummy Onesie Tutorial

What you need…

(not pictured is a paint brush, which you’ll need to help apply the glue neatly, and an iron, for pressing the bias tape into shape)

  • Cut a rectangle from the freezer paper about the size of your onesie and insert between the layers, with the shiny side facing up (this will help keep the glue from going all the way through and sticking the front to the back).
  • Cut about a 1″ circle from the yellow felt, then cut a smaller circle from the black felt.
  • Use the fabric glue to adhere the black eyeball onto the yellow eye.
  • Fold one end of the bias tape over and start arranging the it on your ironing pad. You’ll be making sort of an “M” shape with the tape. It helps to keep the eyeball under the tape to get the angles right.
  • Once you have the tape configured to your liking, fold down the remaining end.
  • Now arrange the eye and bias tape on your onesie and start gluing into place.
  • Once the glue has set for a bit, go through with your finger look for loose spots. Apply more glue to any loose spots and repeat until the pieces are firmly attached.

Sine all of these use fabric glue, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times and laundering.

I love that these are so easy, and since they’re for little ones who will only wear them once or twice before they outgrow them I think the fabric glue is a great choice. However, if I were to make these in big-kid sizes I think I would opt to stitch the pieces down for added durability.

Thanks, and enjoy!

35 DIY Halloween Hoodie Costumes

Its amazing what one can make with a simple hoodie!  I’ve rounded up some awesome tutorials, ideas, and insparation for Halloween costumes made from hoodies and sweatsuits…

Animal Hoodie Costumes


Monkey hoodie costume tutorial from Craft

monkey from makezine



Lion hoodie costume instructions from National Geographic Kids


Goldfish hoodie costume tutorial from How to be Jenna

goldfish howtobejenna



Crab costume from Woman’s Day

crab from womansday


No-Sew octopus hoodie costume tutorial on Instructables

octopus from instructables



Bat costume tutorial from How to be Jenna

bat how to be jenna

Owl hoodie costume from EEma-Le

bird from eema


Elephant hoodie costume from Fat Wallet

elephant fatwallet


Raven hoodie costume from Martha Stewart

raven martha stewart


Bat costume with umbrella wings from Evil Mad Scientist
bat from evil mad scientist

 No-Sew Bumblee hoodie costume from Dollar Store Crafts

bumblebee from dollarstorecrafts


Owl hoodie costume with mask template from Pure Joy Events
owl from purjoyevents



Shark hoodie from Lisa Storms at Friskars

shark from lisa storms

 Unicorn hoodie costume tutorial from Deanna’s Stuff
unicorn from deannasstuff

Little lamb costume instructions from Parents Magazine

little lamb parentsmag

Spider hoodie costume instructions from Reader’s Digest

spider costume readers digest

Freezer paper skeleton from Instructables

skeleton from instructables

Fairytales and Fantasy Hoodie Costumes


Knights costume from Mer Mag

knits from mermag


Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf hoodie costumes from Martha Stewart

little red riding hood and wolf martha stewart


Dinosaur hoodie costume tutorial from How to be Jenna

dinosaur from howtobejenna



Dinosaur hoodie costume tutorial from The ME in Mommydinosaur themeinmommy

Monster hoodie tutorial from Lisa Storms at Friskars
monster friskars


 Frog Price and Princess hoodie costumes from Martha Stewart

frogprince and princess from martha stewart

Character Hoodie Costumes


 Foofa costume from Hey Jen Renee

Wow Wow Wubbzy costume at Bob Boyle
wubbzy bobboyle

Angelina Ballerina hoodie costume from Sweet B

angelinaballerina from sweetb


Angry Birds hoodie costume tutorial at Instructablesangrybirds instructables

DJ Lance Rock costume tutorial from Johnny in a Dress
dj lance from johnnyinadress

Elmo hoodie costume from Fat Walletelmo from fatwallet

Max from Where the Wild Things Are hoodie costume from Missmaxwildthings from miss

Minions costume at Coolest Homemade Costumes

minions coolesthomemade

Perry the Platypus hoodie costume tutorial from Dabbledperryplatypus from dabbled

R2D2 hoodie costume at Fashionably Geeky
r2d2 fashionablygeek

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies


Seriously, does it get any better? I have an ongoing list of baking recipes that I’ve been making with my girls. I’m not sure if we’ll be making these, but they look so yummy I had to share. Go see Gotta Little Space for the recipe!

Homemade Lacing Block


The Wonder Years shares many Montessori-inspired activities that can be made at home. This lacing board is simple to make and is perfect to help your preschooler practice his lacing skills. Click here to learn how to make one AND how to introduce the activity to your child!