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Learning Laboratory: Shoes

learning how to tie a shoe

Mike lost one of his shoes recently to a black hole at the gym, so he decided to use the remaining shoe as an educational visual. First he taught the kids how to tie shoes, and then they took the shoe apart!

examining the inside of a shoe

Four-year-old Johnny was especially interested in looking at how the shoe came apart. They talked about why different materials were used for different parts of the shoe:

Taking apart a shoe

And even examined the different building materials with magnifying glasses!

examining a shoe with a magnifying glass

Have you ever taken a shoe apart? If the kids were a little older, we might have gone into the chemistry behind the different synthetic materials…

learning laboratory at mama smiles

Learning Laboratory is a celebration of hands-on, creative, fun learning for all ages! Here are some links I loved last week:

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

28 thoughts on “Learning Laboratory: Shoes”

  1. Darci the STEM mom

    I think my husband’s shoes are ready to be retired…I can’t wait to do this. This goes to show you that all things can be (STEM) learning activities, and blogging material!

    Can’t wait!


  2. What a great idea. With all the velcro and slip on shoes for kids, it’s hard to find ones that tie. We had one pair of baby sneakers that my girls rarely wore but I’ve saved them because they tie and I figure I’ll put them on a doll or stuffed animal when I want to teach the kids to tie shoes. I never would have thought to take a sneaker apart though – very clever.

    1. I love the idea of saving baby sneakers to teach tying! My kids don’t own any tie shoes.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    I love how Mike is game to take anything apart. :) :) What a great learning experience.

  4. I <3 shoe science, but I am biased since my lab is currently working on special footwear for people with knee osteoarthritis. Maybe we can do a video tour one day. We do motion capture (like how they do some computer animated films and video games) and we have a full body laser scanner! The cub scouts I gave a tour to in May loved it (but they are a little older).

    1. I think material science is fascinating! Wish I understood it a bit better – something for me to learn about!!!

  5. With so many velcro shoes in our house, it didn’t occur to me until recently that my daughters have never owned tie shoes. Guess what I’m working on this summer? I have some old shoes and now I know what to do with them!

  6. Two Chicks and a Hen

    I don’t know that we’ll end up doing this with a shoe, but I like the idea of taking something apart to see its components, especially something that we’re going to have to throw away anyway. I’ll try to remember this the next time we have something that can’t be recycled or reused.

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