Andrew Morgan GLA181114BREA

Pre-schoolers can use smartphones but can't tie shoes

PRE-SCHOOLERS are more likely to be able to use a smartphone than tie their own shoelaces as parents increasingly outsource what was once a basic life skill.

Working mums and dads are struggling to keep up with teaching their kids basic life skills and children as old as eight can't tie up their shoes.

But now the foot experts are picking up the slack. Shoelace tying lessons are being held to help five to eight-year-olds learn the tips and tricks of the simple bow knot.

An international survey of 2200 mothers in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Europe showed how children's motor skills like tying shoelaces or riding a bike were being ­superseded by tech savvy.

The study, by internet security company AVG, showed more children can play a computer game than ride a bike.

About 19 per cent of children aged two to five could use a smartphone, compared with 9 per cent who could tie their laces.

Athletes Foot manager at Orion Springfield Central, Ben Davis, said knotting shoelaces was a simple motor function that children should be learning from an early age to give them a sense of independence. If schools require lace up shoes, kids can feel self-conscious.

Research has shown that preschoolers were more likely to be able to use a smartphone than tie their own laces.

Childcare centre staff encourage parents to make the time to teach their children how to tie their laces as it is a great bonding experience.

"Most preschoolers have shoes with velcro or slip-on shoes," Lucy Cook director of Amaze Childcare Centres said.

"We like to leave lace tying to parents although I have provided helpful hints on our Facebook page.

"It is a skill that is needed for school because it takes up a lot of time if the teacher is tying 25 pairs of shoelaces regularly throughout the school day."