How To Teach A Child To Tie Their Shoes: Step By Step Guide

Teaching how to tie shoes for kids is one of the essential skills they should learn. Most children continue taking help from their parents to tie their shoes. However, it is best to let the child learn to do it by themselves at the earliest. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and independence. Tying shoelaces is not merely an activity of joy and fulfillment, but it is also related to coordination and development. Read on to know how you can teach your child to tie shoes.

In This Article

Why Should Your Child Learn To Tie Shoes?

It is essential to their independence and helps them feel more confident at school. Learning to tie shoelaces can also help your child pick up some essential life skills, such as follows:

  • As you teach them a step-by-step procedure of tying the shoelace, they will learn to listen carefully and follow the directions.
  • Using their fingers to tie the shoelace, they would learn dexterity, which eventually helps them hold a pen or other things correctly.
  • They understand sequencing with the process—socks go first, slip-on shoes, and tie the shoelaces.
Socks go first, How to tie shoes

Image: IStock

  • They learn to sort and classify footwear, such as winter shoes, summer shoes, sneakers, and boots, which helps them sort different objects.
  • Regular practice helps them attain perfection that refines their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, visual perception, etc.

When Should You Teach Your Child To Tie Shoes?

As most children develop their fine motor skills by age five, it is ideal for them to learn to tie their shoelaces (1). This is also when their hand and eye coordination develops, making delicate tasks easier for them. However, the age range varies from child to child. Some might pick it up earlier, while some may learn at an older age.

How To Teach A Child To Tie Shoes?

Prefer soft and thin shoelaces

Image: IStock

Teaching an essential skill to children requires patience and devotion.

Speaking about how she patiently helped her daughter learn to tie her shoes, A mom, blogger, and certified elementary teacher says, “We were outside, she ran in to get her ‘tie shoes’ as we called them. She brought them back out and was determined to get them tied. I did not interrupt, just observed. After about 15 minutes, she looked at me and asked for assistance. I smiled, ready to be ‘Wonder Woman’ and save the day. I bent down and started to show her the first step-cross the laces to make an ‘x.’ We practiced this step until she was a master (i).”

Here are some shoe-tying tips explaining how you can teach your child to tie their shoelaces:

  • Teach more than one method of tying shoes just in case your child cannot grasp the concept from the first method.
  • A fun way to teach is by learning together-lookup for a new method of tying shoes and tell your child to follow the same with you.
  • Avoid using rough and thick laces. Prefer soft and thin shoelaces that are easy to handle by the little fingers.
  • You can make marks on the lace parts that need to be held and folded. This will guide them even if you aren’t around.
  • Teaching rhymes for tying shoes, such as “Bunny ears, bunny ears jumped into the hole”, or “Popped out of the other side, beautiful and bold,” could make it easier for your child to grasp the skill.
  • Let them practice the entire fastening and tying technique repeatedly while they rhyme it with their favorite songs. Practice can only ensure they learn the method correctly.

Steps To Teach A Child To Tie Shoelaces

Simple steps on how to tie shoes

Image: IStock

Here are some simple steps for tying shoes for kids that you can refer to while you are teaching your kids to tie shoelaces:

  • Knotting: Sit with your child and guide their fingers. Ask the child to hold a lace in each of their hands and criss-cross them to form an X. Don’t hurry them into getting it perfectly right at the first attempt. Use one lace to tuck it into the hole, and then tighten both laces to form a knot.
  • Rabbit ears: Use one of the two laces and make a loop, resembling a rabbit ear. Show them how to make it, and ask your child to pinch it between their fingers and carry on with the rest by themselves, including looping the other lace together. This will give them a sense of independence.
  • Wrapping: Instruct your child to wrap the second lace around the ear of the first lace. Allow them to handle the loop and swoop by themselves unless they require your assistance. You should allow them to learn how to perform the procedure single-handedly.
  • Bunny ear: Push the other lace into the hole, making the second bunny ear. While doing so, you can guide them on how to have a good grip over the lace to put them together as tightly as possible.
  • Whiskers: Pull the ears together and tighten them. Ensure the end of the lace, the whiskers, are as long as the ears. Lastly, applaud them for their achievement and encourage them to do it more often to attain perfection.
Pull the ears together and tighten them

Image: IStock

Children take some time to pick up the concept of tying the shoelaces. Initially, it might be a little time-consuming, but eventually, they get it. You can turn it into a fun learning process that teaches them to do their things independently. Therefore, be patient with the process and let your child learn how to tie their shoelaces at their pace. Additionally, you can try some shoe tying hacks to make the process easier and more enjoyable for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to teach my child to tie shoes using a bow knot?

Begin this shoe-tying tutorial by wrapping one end around the other to tie a half knot and pull to make it tight. Next, form two loops with both ends and wrap the second loop around the first loop to complete the bow. Finally, tighten the knot and finish.

2. How to ensure the shoes stay tied for a long time?

You can use a reef knot, double knot, or square knot to ensure that the shoes stay tied for a long time.

3. How to tie a double knot?

Start by making a bow knot and then pass the left loop over the top of the right loop and wrap it around the back. Next, pass the tip of the left loop through the hole created between the loops. Finally, tighten the double knot by pulling the loops in opposite directions.

Infographic: Stepwise Guide To Teach Shoe Tying For Children

Learning to tie shoes is an essential life skill and a significant milestone in a child’s development. While it may seem like a simple task, it can give children a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of self-sufficiency. The below infographic provides simple instructions that you can use to teach your child to tie their shoes.

easy steps for teaching children how to tie their shoes(infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Teaching kids to tie their shoelaces is one of the first steps towards their independence.
  • It is a step-by-step process and requires patience from the parent’s side.
  • Kids pick up the procedure faster when taught in an interesting manner with the help of rhymes or stories.
  • It is an essential skill that helps enhance their motor abilities and cognition.


Learn how to tie your shoe laces so they stay secure until you want them to come undone. Follow our simple steps and you’ll be ready to go in no time!

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Developmental milestones.
    https://www.choc.org/userfiles/file/Rehab-Developmental%20Milestones%20final.pdf
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