Learning to tie your shoes can be rough – and it’s no easier on the parents, teachers, and other grown-ups helping to teach shoe-tying techniques. A first grade teacher named Eileen Sloan found that her students were getting frustrated with the learning process, so she improvised a clever solution. She punched a few holes in a plastic coffee can lid as a guide for the shoelaces to go through.
Sloan found that the kids were not only learning to tie their shoes – they were loving their little plastic helpers. The kids began decorating the pieces of plastic with stickers as they started to get more and more excited about acquiring this new skill. That’s when the teacher had another stroke of genius: EZLeaps.
EZLeaps are incredibly simple little devices that look like credit cards with cartoon characters on them. Four holes puncture the surface and are connected by thin slits. After the shoelace is tied, the kid can just slip the card right off. This lets kids use the device to make shoe tying simple and then remove it so that no one has to know they’re still learning. The cards are available on the EZLeaps website for $5.49.