1: use a shoe sitting on the table to practice (okay, good idea)
2. use a shoestring that is 50% one color and 50% another color (I just colored with marker on his existing white shoe laces) so that when it is laced into a shoe, the string on the left will be a different color from the string on the right, like this:
As for methods, the only two I found were:
1. "Bunny Ears" method (make two loops and tie them together)
2. traditional/loop-swoop-pull/wrap method
My son wasn't able to execute the traditional method, so I taught him the "bunny ears" and he's able to do it, but the knots aren't very tight and I can see it is frustrating to him because he tries to make the "ears" exactly the same length and struggles to hold all 4 pieces of string properly while tying the "ears" together.
I didn't realize there was any other (simple) way to teach a kid to tie their shoes. Until I saw the video below. I am so excited to have my son try this method. Although he only wears his "tying" shoes once a week, he breathes a big, heavy sigh every time he sits down to put them on. Maybe a little "magic" will help him to get a successful, tighter tie on the first try? I'm going to find out!