Four Tips for Teaching Your Child How to Tie Shoes

If the variety of Velcro-strapped shoes available today is any indicator, lots of moms struggle to teach their little ones how to tie shoes. It’s a tough task to master for smaller hands which are still developing fine motor skills. But there are a few tricks of the trade that may help you break down and explain a routine that you do so automatically, you may have forgotten the individual steps involved.

  1. Don’t try to teach this skill during the rush to get out the door. Choose a time with no distractions or ticking clocks so you can be patient and the child can make multiple attempts without feeling rushed.
  2. Sit behind your child when tying her shoes. This way she can see, from the perspective from which she will be working, what your hands are doing.
  3. Create shoelaces for your child that are two different colors by taking two laces, cutting them in half and tying the colors together in the middle. That way, when the new two-colored lace is in the child’s shoe, their left string will be one color and the right string will be another. This may help them visually differentiate between the two when looping and knotting, and remember what goes where.
  4. Try using a cute little rhyme to help your tyke remember the process. Here’s an example with a line to correlate with each step:

Build a tee pee
Come inside
Close it tight so we can hide
Over the mountain
And around we go
Here’s my arrow
And here’s my bow!

  1. If your child seems frustrated with small shoe laces, try practicing on a larger, thicker rope or piece of twine. A jump rope is a good practice tool.
  2. When he gets it down, celebrate! Crown the achievement of your new shoe-tier with an ice cream cone or another treat.

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