Tips to Teach Your Kids How To Tie Their Shoes

May 29, 2008

This morning Handsome’s therapist and I worked on shoe tying with him. We spent 10 minutes deciding on a method.

We are going to do Bunny Ears mixed with The Squirrel and the Tree.

How to tie shoes

Though most kids’ shoes now feature Velcro closures, learning to tie ones own shoes is still considered to be milestone that children should master by 5 or 6 years of age.

But, teaching a child to tie his own shoes can be frustrating; kids can lose interest quickly if they feel the task is too difficult, or they may seem to “get it” one day only to completely forget the next.

1. Bunny Ears

Probably the most common method for teaching kids to tie their own shoes is the “Bunny Ears” method.

Tell the child that he needs to make his shoe laces into “bunny ears.”

First, he needs to secure a knot for the bunny’s head.

Take the laces and cross them over to make an “X”. Then, pull one ear through the bottom of the “X” and pull tight.

Say, “Now we need to give bunny some ears.” Loop the laces into “bunny ears”.

Tell the child that now we need to “make the bunny ears tight so they don’t fall off”.

Then make another “X” using the “bunny ears”, slide one “ear” under the “X” and pull tightly.

2. The Squirrel and the Tree

This is a fun method that utilizes a kid friendly story and movements that help kids understand and remember the basic steps to shoe tying.

Tell the child to create “tree roots” by making a starter knot.

Make a tree with a long thin loop; hold the loop in the child’s right hand.

With his left hand, take hold of the lace 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).

Many parents prefer this trick because it teaches the kid to tie shoes with the single loop method.

3. Loop It and Swoop It

This is a less childish, but still memorable way of teaching a child to tie in the traditional single loop method.

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.



One Response to “Tips to Teach Your Kids How To Tie Their Shoes”

  1. Sarah said

    Using educational devices such as the Tebby Tie can help along the way. Also be silly and use some funny songs. This will make it easier for the kid to remember the steps.

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