Learning to Tie Shoes

Teaching a child to tie shoes can be frustrating!  Below are three different methods, arranged from easiest to most difficult.  All kids learn differently, so try them all and see which works best for your child. 

  1. Bunny Ears ~ Cross the laces over to make an X.  Pull one lace through the bottom of the X and pull tight.  This is the top of the bunny’s head.  Now loop the laces into bunny ears.  Cross them to make an X.  Slide one ear under the X and pull tightly. 
  2. The Squirrel and the Tree ~  Make “tree roots” with a starter knot.  With the child’s right hand, make a tree with a long thin loop.  Take hold of the other lace with his left hand, and tell him that a squirrel runs around the tree and jumps into the hole under the tree and comes out the other side…he’ll need to switch hands at this point which can be difficult for some kids.
  3. Loop It and Swoop It ~ Teach your child to tie his shoes using the standard tying method, but as you go through the motions say, “loop it, swoop it, pull.” Do this over and over while repeating the same three, simple instructions until your child is able to tie his shoes on his own. Encourage him to say “loop it, swoop it, pull” each time he attempts tying his shoes until it becomes second nature.

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