Shoe Tying

If teaching kids to tie their shoes is something that makes you want to give up and buy a pair of Velcro shoes, then you are in the right place. Here, you will find shoe tying resources for the therapist helping kids to work on the skills that go into successful shoe tying. You will find activities to build the underlying skills that kids need to tie their shoes. You will find shoe tying tips. And, you will find activities to make shoe tying practice fun.

Shoe tying activities for kids and resources for how to teach kids to tie their shoes.

Tying Shoelaces

The thing is that teaching kids shoe tying is tricky! For some kids, tying shoelaces, is torture. They fumble the laces, make knots, or tie the laces so loosely that the shoes are not laced up.

There is more to it than handing kids a pair of laces and ending up with neatly tied laces. That’s why I wanted to put together this resource on tying shoelaces.

Shoe Tying Methods

There are several different shoe tying methods that can work for your child. There are benefits to each of the different ways to tie shoes, and what works for one child may not work best for another child. The important thing is to remain consistent when it comes to teaching a child to tie their shoes.

Here are some videos that shoe different shoe tying methods:

Bunny Ears Method

One Loop Shoe Tying Method

The Ian Knot (Fast knot method)

One Handed Shoe Tying

This is your one stop spot for how to teach kids to tie their shoes.

Tying shoelaces resources for kids

Shoe tying tips

Before starting with shoe tying instruction, it can be helpful to set the child up for success. Try these shoe tying tips and then check out the resources below:

Chose a shoe tying method and stick with it.

Use two different colored laces.

Practice from the child’s point of view. Sit behind the child so your hands are positioned the same as the child’s would be.

Practice the underlying skills needed for shoe tying in fun ways…Shoe tying crafts and activities are below!

Use simple terms and one-step directions.

Try backward chaining- Complete the whole tying shoes process and let the child complete the last steps. This method gives the child a sense of accomplishment. Then, keep adding steps so they are completing more of the task.

Try forward chaining- Have the child complete the first step and you complete the rest. Then add more steps on so the child learns step-by-step shoe tying.

More shoe tying tips can be found below:

Shoe Tying Printable Shoe Tying Tricks Shoe Tying Tips

Lacing Skills in Shoe Tying

Lacing activities offers an opportunity for kids to work on so many skills that are essential to teaching kids to tie their shoes: manipulating string with dexterity, precision in fine motor movements, the pincer grasp to pinch and hold the string, bilateral coordination, and eye-hand coordination.

Try these lacing activities for practice and pre-shoe tying activities. Then, use them while working on shoe tying tasks, too and kids will hone their shoe tying abilities!

Pencil Box Lacing Activity DIY Lacing Cards Lacing Plate Activity
Homemade Lacing Cards Lacing Shoe Craft Lacing Toys

Shoe Tying Crafts

These shoe tying crafts are a fun way to work on the skills kids need to tie their shoes: fine motor skills, strength, motor planning, and precision…and they will be proud of their completed craft. Add these shoe tying crafts to your OT toolbox!

Shoe Keychain Craft Shoe Cookies Lacing Craft

Developmental Skills for SHoe Tying

Kids need several developmental milestones in place for shoe tying! These articles explain everything you need to know about development so that kids can independently tie their shoes.

You’ll also find resources on the underlying skills that a child needs in order to tie shoes. Check out these links- you’ll discover why shoe tying may be so tricky for some kids!

Visual Motor and Developmental Milestones
Developmental Milestones for Functional Skills
Developmental Milestones for Getting Dressed
Bilateral Coordination Hand Strength Finger Isolation
Wrist Extension Thumb Web Space Hand Separation