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How To Teach A Child To Tie His Shoes – Step-to-Step Guide

Your little one is starting school soon, and you are worried about their shoe tying? Let’s explore some fun ways of teaching toddlers to tie shoes.

Since you won’t be around, your little one must take shoe-tying lessons before starting school. Although alternatives to shoelaces exist, like velcro or slip-on shoes, teaching toddlers to tie shoes cannot be ignored.

Shoe tying for kids involves good bilateral hand coordination, visual perception, hand-eye coordination, fine motor abilities, and hand strength. It might be challenging for parents to teach their children how to tie shoelaces. Laces appear mysterious and full of knots to a young infant. Hence, teaching toddlers to tie shoes requires patient guidance from an adult.

What Can You Do For Teaching Toddlers To Tie Shoes Easier?

To make things simpler for their children, parents are constantly looking for new strategies and techniques to teach their kids shoe tying. Here are a few ways you can make this easier for your child to learn:

  1. Lacing boards – A lacing board can handle the tiresome chore of kids tying shoes (laces). It will offer a simple and enjoyable way to pick up the skill. It can be bought easily in a market, or you can make it a DIY task – making a lacing board out of cardboard by making holes that mimic a shoe.
  1. Printable shoe lacing cards – Similar to lacing boards, they are laminated and printed on paper to increase durability. Old shoelaces or strings can be utilized in the holes that have been punched. The advantage of printable cards over lacing boards is that they are cost-effective, and colours and shapes can be according to the child’s desire – making shoe tying easier.
  1. Choose the correct position – Young children have limited attention spans. They may get tired of bending down to tie a shoelace. You can put the shoe on the table and provide a comfortable position for your child to learn, see and practice the skill more.
  1. Rhymes and songs – Kids tying shoes can enjoy learning by singing and reciting rhymes. Their favourite verse or music might be helpful in teaching toddlers to tie shoes.
  1. Favorite character/story – Character names from a child’s favourite stories can be written on two laces. They may act out a game of hide and seek, one going in and the other coming out. You can make it as imaginative as you like – making shoe tying for kids a playful activity.
  1. Different coloured laces – Introducing various coloured laces can help in the learning process of shoe tying for kids. Otherwise, learning this ability can be tricky and frustrating.
  1. Training laces – Shoe tying for kids can be made simpler for the child by training laces. These laces have printed images instructing the youngster on how to move their hands and where to place their fingers.
  1. Shoe-tying aids – Shoe-tying aids can make shoe tying for kids easier. All the additional shoe components the child does not need are blocked with these aids. When you practice, the process gets more straightforward since there is less misunderstanding.
  1. Tutorials – The child should be shown tutorials that break down the process of tying shoelaces step by step if they are old enough to understand while watching.

What things should you keep in mind while teaching toddlers to tie shoes?

Teaching your child how to tie a shoelace can sometimes be frustrating. While the parent might find it easy, the child may need clarification about the knots. This is how you can make this a positive experience for you and your child –

  1. Try to allow the child to pick a shoe of their liking. This will enhance their power to learn and grasp new skills.
  2. Shoe tying is a new and confusing task for a small child. So it requires patience from the parent’s side. It should be done in free time, like after school, when there is no lack of time.
  3. You, as a parent, need to be relaxed, calm, and patient while teaching your child.
  4. Teaching with an example – you can use your shoe and ask your child to follow what you do. Learning by seeing and doing is likely to enhance the grasping power of your child.
  5. As shoe tying requires fine motor skills, one step at a time should be practiced. The next step should be done only when the child has mastered the previous one.
  6. Use specific verbs with the steps, such as twist, knot, and hold, so the child understands precisely how to match the hand motion to the words.
  7. Printing down a step-by-step instruction sheet and hanging it next to the shoe rack is another technique to make practice easier for the kid.
  8. When the child succeeds in mastering a step, praise him. That will serve as a motivating factor for the kid.
  9. The laces repeatedly opening because the child has not yet learned the technique may frustrate him to the point that he avoids wearing shoes with laces. Some items lock the laces and prevent the child from tripping over them until they have mastered the technique. Alternatively, you can wear a slip-on and velcro shoes.

What is the easiest way of teaching toddlers to tie shoes?

The most straightforward method to teach your child to shoe tying is to use the bunny ears trick-

  1. Take two laces of different and contrasting colours, say black and red.
  2. Put one shoelace in each of the hands.
  3. Now put and cross the black lace over the red one halfway.
  4. Now take the black lace and put it over the red lace and put it under the red one.
  5. Holding the ends of the two laces, draw them tightly to form the bunny ears. The created cross should be placed close to the shoe.
  6. Tie the black lace into a loop. Make sure it has a lengthy tail.
  7. Repeat the same steps with the red lace as well.
  8. There are now two loops. Cross the red bunny ear’s middle over the black bunny ear’s centre.
  9. Place the black ear over the red ear by taking the red ear’s top. Slide it through the opening. Pull the ears firmly by inserting your fingers inside them.
  10. The shoelaces are tied when the loops are knotted.


Remember that patience and encouragement are key when teaching toddlers to tie shoes. Celebrate their successes and help them work through any challenges they may encounter. With practice and perseverance, shoe tying will become easy for your little one.

Eurokids provides a healthy and proactive learning environment where your child can master basic skills like kids tying shoes. Click here to know more or to visit a Eurokids centre for preschool admission for your child.

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