How do I Teach a Child How to Tie Shoes?

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  • Written By: Josie Myers
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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The popularity of Velcro™ shoes has given many parents a break when it comes to tying shoe laces, but has also decreased some of the importance of learning to tie shoes at an early age. Tying shoes is still an important skill to know and one that all kids will eventually need to learn. There are a few ways to teach a child how to tie shoes that make it a fun experience for them.

When the time comes to teach shoe tying, there are two knots that are commonly used. Both knots begin with a basic tie. To complete this step:

  • Lay one lace over the top of the shoe on an angle.
  • Cross the other lace over the top of the one lying on the shoe. They should look like an "X."
  • Tuck the top lace under the bottom one and pull it up.
  • Pull both laces tight.

The more difficult of the two is the traditional shoe knot that most adults use. When teaching children, it is usually referred to as "Loop, Swoop, and Pull." As you complete the steps, be sure to say the phrases that go with each step to the child.


  • Complete basic tie above.
  • "Loop" — Make a loop with one lace.
  • "Swoop" — Take the other lace and wrap it around the loop towards the base. Starting close to the base, feed this lace back through the wrapped part of itself, creating a second loop.
  • "Pull" — Pull both loops to make the knot tight.

For a slightly easier method, you can use "Bunny Ears":

  • Complete the basic tie above.
  • "Make the ears" — Make two loops, one for each lace.
  • "Crisscross" — Cross one loop over the other, making an "X"
  • "Into the Bunny Hole" — Feed one loop through the hole created at the base of the crisscross.
  • "Pull them tight" — Pull both ends of the loops until they are tight.

When you teach a child how to tie shoes, it is important to remember how important repetition is to learning in general. As with any other skill, children will remember best when given a hook. If you use the same words over and again, they will remember those words and connect the required steps with each in no time.


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Discuss this Article

Post 4

Great article! But there is a good alternative how to easily teach kids. This is Shoosey! Very interesting device that every child will fall in love with.

Post 3

@Sierra02 - The best way I know how to teach a child to tie their shoes is to use two different colored shoe laces. Knot them together in the middle then lace up the shoes like you would with any other laces.

It's easier for the child to learn when they can visually see where and how the loop is going through the hole and how it comes out the other side.

I used this technique on all three of my children and they were tying their shoes with no problem by the time they were four years old. You just need a little patience and be able offer a lot of praise. He'll get there.

Post 2

The daycare helped us teach our kids how to tie their shoes by sending home a cardboard shaped shoe with holes to put the laces through.

The kids could sit in any position they wanted while they practiced tying the shoelace into a bow. It made learning fun and comfortable.

Post 1

I know this should be a fun and exciting time teaching your child how to tie their shoelaces themselves, but I've been having a terrible time with my son.

He's six years old and the only way he even comes close to it is by the bunny ear method which I'm sure is better than nothing. But they never stay tied and he doesn't try to tie them back up.

His teacher even sent a note home with him one day explaining to me how many times she's had to tie them for him. She's afraid that he's going to trip and hurt himself if he doesn't learn how to tie a shoe soon.

She's absolutely right and from that day forward my son has been wearing velcro shoes which he thinks are pretty cool anyway.

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