How to Help 4 Year Old Put Shoe on Right Foot

Updated on May 02, 2011
M.J. asks from Skokie, IL
23 answers

Any tips how to help my preschooler know which shoe to put on what foot? I tried putting stars on one shoe and not the other, explaining that the star-shoe goes on the left foot, etc, But she still puts on shoes wrong many times. It's cute, but is there a way u teach them?

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T.G.

answers from Rockford on

I asked my daughter's pre-school teacher about this as she seems to get them on the wrong feet more than the correct ones (and she is 5). She told me it was completely normal still at this point. I tried drawing arrows that point to each other on the inside of the shoe but they don't help her to do it independently, only if I remind her when she is putting them on. I just wanted to let you know that it is ok if she doesn't get it yet for a while. After reading these suggestions I think I may try a sticker on the side of the shoe to see if that helps. I was trying to avoid having anything visible on the outside of the shoe but maybe it would help.

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

I put stickers on the insides of both shoes for my daughter at that age. Smiley face ones to be exact. I told her that when the smilies could see each other, her shoes were correct. Worked for us, hope it works for you!

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T.G.

answers from Rockford on

I asked my daughter's pre-school teacher about this as she seems to get them on the wrong feet more than the correct ones (and she is 5). She told me it was completely normal still at this point. I tried drawing arrows that point to each other on the inside of the shoe but they don't help her to do it independently, only if I remind her when she is putting them on. I just wanted to let you know that it is ok if she doesn't get it yet for a while. After reading these suggestions I think I may try a sticker on the side of the shoe to see if that helps. I was trying to avoid having anything visible on the outside of the shoe but maybe it would help.

2 moms found this helpful
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T.C.

answers from Chicago on

What I did with my 3 year old is show her the shape of her foot by her toes and show her the shape of the shoe in the toes. I have her match the slants so it goes on the right foot... I hope I explained that right- it makes sense when you do it :) She gets them on correctly now almost every time... and the times she doesn't she has a silly smile on her face and looks like she is checking to see if I am paying attention!

Another one my parents did with us was put a L in the left shoe and show us how our left hand makes the L with the forefinger and thumb. Match those up too!

Good luck to you and many blessings!

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J.N.

answers from Chicago on

Couldn't agree more with the advice about putting one star on the side of each shoe so that when they are put the right way the stars will touch. My daughter's shoes have a mark (right near the big toe). She knows if the marks touch each other they are lined up to go on the correct feet. If they are not touching she has to switch them around. Worked like a charm for both kids.

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J.W.

answers from Chicago on

Oh my gosh! For twenty years I've been 'dotting' the inside of each sole and telling the child that the dots had to see each other. To find out that I really was not a pioneering genius through reading the responses has totally taken the wind out of my sails! (kidding)

Here's to all us genius mommies!!!

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J.J.

answers from Springfield on

Hi N D,

Alot of dance studios put smile faces on the inside of each shoe. Then, when the child has their shoes on the smile faces can smile/kiss each other. I used it for my kids and it works. The kids like to see the faces smile/kiss each other. Good Luck,
J. J.

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W.M.

answers from Chicago on

Draw arrows inside the shoes that point to each other. Then she'll know which way to put them. A friend told me she did that and it worked.

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S.R.

answers from Peoria on

I've taught my daugther to make her shoes "friends." When they're on the right feet, they turn towards each other, like they're hugging, and when they're on the wrong feet, they are turned away from each other.

Good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

For my little ones, I would put smiley faces on the inside of both shoes and then I told them that they were on the right feet when they were "talking" to each other.

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K.N.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter started putting on her own shoes at about 2 1/2 and I just started telling her BIG TOE BIG TOE. She makes sure the part of her shoes for her big toe are touching! She always lines them up right. I don't think this is genius (I love the other suggestions) this is just what I started doing, and it's worked for us :)
Good Luck!

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

We put stars on the "inside" of each shoe (put the shoes next to each other on the floor and then put a star on the side of each shoe where they touch each other). We told our son that he had to put the stars together, and that way the shoes were on the right sides when he started to put them on.

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

I put stickers on the insides of both shoes for my daughter at that age. Smiley face ones to be exact. I told her that when the smilies could see each other, her shoes were correct. Worked for us, hope it works for you!

1 mom found this helpful

J.L.

answers from Chicago on

We drew arrows inside the shoe so that when my son had the shoes lined up next to each other he knew they were right if the arrows pointed towards each other. Got it down in a snap!

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T.B.

answers from Chicago on

I used a Sharpie to draw arrows pointing to each other inside the shoes. I saw stickers of fish pointing toward each other meant for the same thing, and I went cheap! Good luck.

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N.P.

answers from Chicago on

use a marker to put a dot on the inside of each sole and have him match the dots before putting the shoes on

put a red sticker on the right one and remind him that the red and right both start with r

show him why the curve of the shoe goes where it does

write an R on the right shoe and a L on the left

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

paint her little toe with a bright color nail polish and put a dab of the same nail polish on the ends of the shoelace. or inside the shoe if it has no laces. (do it on the same foot lol)

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M.O.

answers from Chicago on

I ended up getting special shoe stickers I found (but you could replicate the idea). Each shoe got a bear sticker and the bears in the left shoe and right shoe would appeaer to "hold hands" when the shoes were correct, or put in arrow stickers in the shoes such a way that the arrows point to eachother when the shoes are correctly left/right.
Or put a number 1 in the left shoe and a number 2 in the right and see if that even helps... sit the shoes next to eachother before putting them on and see if it's 1 then 2- the correct order. Not 2 ---1. Hope this makes sense!

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B.F.

answers from Chicago on

Put stars (or a dot) on the INSIDE sole of each shoe (not the inside of the shoe, but the "arch" part on the sole of the shoe). My M. would say... "Match the stars" and voila, they are automatically on the right feet.

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J.E.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter used to do this and on purpose she says it feels better, sw we let her until it stopped feeling better to her and she knows, sometimes they just do it, and it s ok
J.

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J.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi N D Your daughter is only 4 years old. she'll learn in time. Just be patient.

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S.E.

answers from Chicago on

It takes some children longer than others. Gentle correction is one of the best ways or putting and R/L on the bottom of each shoe. She will get it.

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M.K.

answers from Anchorage on

A funny but true story about someone wearing their shoes on the wrong feet: a few years ago I was at a clinic run by an orthopedic doctor. It only took a few minutes before we realized he was wearing his shoes on the wrong feet!

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C.J.

answers from Chicago on

Shoes on the wrong foot is something they all do and they will grow out of it. I have been a preschool teacher for years and they all do it.

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D.D.

answers from Chicago on

My son just turned 4 and I was going to write 1/2 of his name in the left shoe and the other 1/2 in the right. This way when his name is spelled right, then he knows his shoes are on the right feet.

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