Tricky to teach topics

This area of the website has been developed after a PACEY study of 2,000 parents identified the skills that parents find hardest to teach young children. Tying shoelaces, whistling and using cutlery are the hardest skills to teach, according to the survey.

These are the top 10 skills that parents found 'tricky to teach' and we have provided resources to support these as well. Remember, this is all about having fun, which is the best way your child will learn.

  1. Tying shoelaces.
    There is no ‘right way’ to tie a shoelace. We love this fun video from CBeebies with Mr Tumble on how to make tying shoelaces fun.

  2. Whistling.
    It can be tricky and lots of adults still struggle with this.  This is a really fun video to show you how.

  3. Eating with cutlery.
    Eating peas with a knife and fork isn’t for everyone. Helping children feed themselves with their fingers at first is a good way of getting them engaged in food – though it can be messy! We like this video on BBC about all the skills young children are developing while they’re learning to feed themselves.
  4. Riding a bike.
    Lots of fantastic resources available from Sustrans charity to help everyone learn to ride a bike – whatever your age. 

  5. Telling the Time.
    Knowing how to tell the time is an important skill for daily life. Check out this fun video to help.
  6. Buttoning a button.
    All sorts of ideas for making getting dressed a fun and learning activity here from Tiny Happy People.

  7. Learning to swim.
    Learning to swim is an essential skill to keep children safe around water. Challenging during the coronavirus pandemic, but the Swimming Institute has some free online courses to practice technique!
  8. Brushing teeth.
    The NHS and Child Smile also have some lovely resources and top tips to support healthy teeth.

  9. Trying different foods.
    This can be a challenge for many families with older children as well as younger. This article from BBC Good Food suggests 5 ways to encourage children to try new foods.
  10. Writing your name.
    There’s no pressure on being able to do this before children start school, but lots of practice making all sorts of marks and scribbles will mean your child will be well on the way to writing the name and lots of other words once they start school. Check out our resources to help your child be ready for school.