How to Teach Your Child to Tie Their Shoes the Easy Way

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Teaching kids to tie their shoes can be frustrating for both the parent and the child. Children usually learn to tie their shoes between the ages of three and five years of age. If you are going to teach your 3-5 year old this essential skill, you have to remember that their hands are clumsy and their attention span is short. There are several methods to try when teaching a child to tie his shoes. Here are a few great tips to make shoe tying easier for the child and less exasperating for the parent.

Wide Shoelaces Work the Best

Little hands need something easy to grasp. When teaching your child to tie his shoes, especially if he is a preschooler, get the widest shoelaces you can find. Make sure the laces are not too stiff. Cotton laces work better than laces made from slick, synthetic fibers. Cotton laces are easier to hold onto, and the knots usually stay in place better once the child ties the shoe.

Are We Ready?

Most kids find it easier to learn to tie shoelaces if the shoe is not on their foot. They can hold the shoe in their lap at first, and then graduate to tying the shoes on their feet once they’ve mastered the basics. You can put the shoe on the table if that is a more comfortable position for your child.

Okay, Let’s Tie Our Shoes

1) Start by pulling both laces straight up, and then cross them over, pulling the top lace through the bottom to form the basic starting knot.
2) Pull the laces until the starting knot is nice and tight on the shoe.
3) Pick up one of the laces and form a loop. Hold the loop with the thumb and forefinger.
4) Pick up the other lace with the other hand and wrap it around the loop.
5) Wrapping the loop will create a hole, just under the thumb of the hand holding the loop.
6) Tuck the lace under the loop, which will create another perfect loop.
7) Use both hands to grasp each loop, and pull tight, against the shoe.
8) You should have a perfectly tied bow.

Let your child practice until he gets the hang of it. Keep a positive and encouraging attitude, remembering that those little fingers will be awkward at first. Once your child masters the skill, ask him to put his shoes on his feet, and let him try again. Watch him beam with pride when he realizes he can tie his own shoes.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Teach Your Child to Tie Their Shoes the Easy Way," in, January 26, 2016, (accessed October 4, 2022).