Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

I realised that Gwen (18 months) was in a sensitive period for threading when she repeatedly tried to push my watch strap through its metal ring thingy.

We've done DIY threading activities before - Paper Rolls Threading and Pipe Cleaner Penne Pasta Threading - so this time I wanted to use new tools to create a novel threading challenge for her.

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers!

This is by far the most challenging threading activity she's tried. But she seems to like the challenge and could spend roughly 5 minutes trying to fit the shoelace through a few holes!

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

The round paper plate was easy for Gwen to hold in her grip and I was delighted that she learnt to rotate it as she manipulated the shoelace into the holes!

Tutorial

Materials you'll need:

  • Paper plate
  • Hole puncher
  • Shoelaces (especially those with a tapered end)
  • Q-tips (when your child is bored of threading with shoelaces, try extending play with a new object! Q-tips can be fun to poke into the holes)

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

Steps:

  • Punch holes all around the paper plate
  • Demonstrate how threading can be done with shoelaces
  • Let child explore and try it out
  • Prolong interest in activity with Q-tips (good opportunity to introduce counting of numbers!)

Tips:

  • Provide materials in a tray, Montessori-style, that allows a child to comprehend that those are the resources for the activity
  • Limit the Q-tips provided (haha fatal mistake of mine was to let he see me take Q-tips out of the container. You can guess what happened next. Hint: Scattering schema)

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

Benefits of Threading

  • Increases understanding of spatial relationships between objects
  • Allows for decision-making (which holes to thread?) and problem-solving (how do I adjust shoelace length to thread more holes? How do I detangle the shoelace from the paper plate?)
  • Builds concentration and focus
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Develops fine motor skills (Strengthen muscles in fingers and hand & hones pincer grip which is the use of index finger and thumb to pick up and manipulate small objects. This prepares the child for advanced hand motions like writing, drawing and use of scissors)

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram), save our pins or join A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.

Paper Plate Shoelace Threading Activity for Toddlers

Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.

Hi! We are Yunnie & Limin and we used to design customised wedding invitations in Singapore. If you’re here for that, thank you but we no longer design and are sorry that we can’t be a part of your special day. But we welcome you to hang around if you have little people in your life whom you interact and play with. Miraculove is now an education website for caregivers to be inspired by our heart and handmade play ideas, so everyone can make learning fun and stimulating for babies and toddlers.