10 Tips for Teaching Kids How to Tie Shoes

Teaching kids how to tie shoes is a valuable life skill that promotes independence and self-sufficiency. 

While it may initially seem challenging, breaking down the process into simple steps can make it an enjoyable and successful learning experience.

Tips for teaching kids how to tie shoes

The Importance of Kids Learning How to Tie Shoes

Tying shoes is not just about practicality; it contributes to a child’s overall development. Here’s why it matters:

  1. Fine Motor Skills: Manipulating shoelaces and tying knots requires precision, hand-eye coordination, and finger dexterity, all of which promote the development of fine motor skills.
  2. Independence: Learning to tie shoes empowers children to take care of themselves, boosting their confidence and independence as they no longer need constant assistance.
  3. Problem-Solving and Patience: The process of tying shoelaces involves multiple steps, encouraging problem-solving and patience as children work through each task.
  4. Preparation for School: As kids enter kindergarten, shoe-tying skills become essential for physical activities and participation in games, both inside and outside the classroom.

Tips for teaching kids how to tie shoes

Tips for Teaching Kids How to Tie Shoes

Patience and encouragement are key when teaching kids to tie their shoes. Below are steps to make the learning process enjoyable:

1. Choose the Right Shoes

Select shoes with long, wide laces as they are easier to handle. Avoid slippery or overly complicated laces during the initial learning phase.

Tips for teaching kids how to tie shoes

2. Introduce “Bunny Ears” Method

Teach the “Bunny Ears” method, which is easy to grasp for young minds:

  • Start by crossing one lace over the other to form an “X.”
  • Loop one lace under the other to create two “bunny ears.”
  • Cross the “bunny ears” over each other and pull them through the bottom loop.
  • Tighten the knot by pulling the “ears” gently.

3.  Introduce “Looping” Method

If the Bunny Ears method is not working for your child, try a different method.  

The Looping Method is as simple as:

  • Take your two shoelaces.  Cross them to make an x.  Put one string under and pull tight. 
  • Then repeat this step without pulling tight.  Instead, pull just enough to leave a circle.  
  • Drop the laces and put one string through the circle just enough to leave a loop ear. 
  • Repeat with the other string. 
  • After you have 2 loop ears, pull them tight to tighten the knot.

4.  Use Visual Aids

Visual aids like colorful diagrams or videos can be useful in demonstrating the steps. Below is one of our demonstration videos about teaching kids how to tie shoes. 

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Allow kids to practice at their own pace, making it a fun and positive experience. Celebrate their progress and offer praise for their efforts, regardless of how long it takes to master the skill.

Tips for teaching kids how to tie shoes

6. Lead by Example

As parents and educators, lead by example by wearing shoes with laces and tying them in front of the children. Kids often imitate adults, and this will encourage them to learn faster.

7. Be Patient and Encouraging

Remember, every child learns at their own pace. Be patient, offer support, and avoid showing frustration.

Positive reinforcement goes a long way in building a child’s confidence and motivation.

Tips for teaching kids how to tie shoes

8. Turn Shoe-tying into a Playful Activity 

To make the learning process enjoyable and engaging, turn shoe-tying into a playful activity. Incorporate games and challenges that involve tying and untying shoes. For example, create a shoe-tying relay race where children take turns tying shoes and passing them to their teammates.

You can also organize a shoe-tying “fashion show” where kids proudly display their well-tied shoes to their peers. By infusing fun and creativity into the learning experience, children will be more motivated to practice and improve their shoe-tying skills.

9. Utilize Storytelling

Children love stories, and incorporating storytelling into the shoe-tying lessons can be a powerful tool. 

You can makeup your own story about a character who learned how to tie his own shoes, or find books to encourage shoe tying for kids. 

10.  Use Shoe-Tying Boards

There are many shoe tying boards and practice sneakers on the market.  For example, this Melissa & Doug wood lacing sneaker will make practicing tying your shoes fun for the kids. 


By adding these additional tips to your kids shoe-tying experience, you can create a more interactive learning environment that fosters enthusiasm and success.  Happy shoe-tying adventures ahead!

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

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The Amazing Benefits of Kids Playing in Nature

30 Popular Nursery Rhymes for Kids

Tips for teaching kids how to tie shoes

Teaching Kids How to Tie Shoes