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How To Teach Your Child To Tie Shoe Laces?

4 min read

Tying shoelaces
It is only for so long that you can get away with buying only Velcro shoes for your child so that both you and the child do not have to go through the ordeal of tying the shoe laces. Sooner or later, you will have to buy him shoes with laces and soon enough your child will start coming back from school or his game with a tiny double knot that will seem impossible for you to untie. Your frustration is not the only problem. Your child will also be embarrassed among his peers if he does not know or has to ask for help to tie his shoe laces.
So it is in both your and your child’s best interest to spend a weekend to learn tying shoe laces.

Is My Child Ready To Tie His Shoe Laces By Himself?

Please understand that self-care is a major developmental milestone. The kind of dexterity required for this seemingly simple task does not appear in kids below 5 years of age. So, there is no point in trying to teach your toddler this skill. Wait till he is between 5-7 years of age before attempting to teach him this skill!

How To Teach A Child To Tie His Shoe Laces?

If your child is above 5, and you think he is ready to tie his shoe laces on his own, then try the following steps-

  1. The first step is to learn how to tie the ‘base knot’. First you take the laces and cross them and make an X. Then you put one under and pull very tight. The base knot is ready
  2. Now in order to make the square knots on top, there are various techniques available – some of them more simple than the other:
    • Method 1: Once the base knot is made, fold each end of the lace to for a “bunny ear” loop. Now, just like you did it for the base knot, cross the bunny ear loops so that it forms an X in the air. Now loop the top bunny ear around the bottom bunny ear and pull both the bunny ears out to the sides of the shoes. This will form the second knot
    • Method 2: After making the base knot, repeat the same knot once more. Cross the laces like an X, put one under the other and pull from both sides. However, do not make this a tight knot. Stop pulling when a little circle is made with the base knot and the new knot. Now drop both laces. Pick one of the laces and put it through the circle. Pull it all the way to the side until there is a little loop (like bunny ear) on the top. Then do the same thing with other lace. Take it and put it through the circle and pull it to the other side until there is a little loop on top. Now hold the two loops created at the top and pull it to the sides and the second knot is made!
    • Method 3: After the base knot is made, fold one end (start with right) of the lace to create a bunny loop. Now take the left end of the lace and pass it around the right lace (going behind the bunny loop and bringing it forward). A hole has been made. Now feed the left lace back in this hole. You would see a bunny ear loop coming out of the hole on the other side. Now grab both bunny ear loops and pull it to both sides tightening the second knot

tying shoe laces

Helpful Tips To Teach Your Child To Tie Shoe Laces

  • Start with shoes that have soft laces
  • Using a marker, color one half of the lace, so that the child can distinguish between both sides of the lace
  • Sit on the same side as the child when teaching him (as opposed to sitting on the opposite side facing him). This will ensure that you have the same perspective as him and can give instructions better
  • Let him mimic you. While giving instructions, make sure you are doing the same to your shoe as well. That way, your child can keep looking at you and mimic your hand movements
  • Leverage multiple tutorials available in YouTube if you are confused about the knots yourself
  • If things seem difficult, you can create a practice board to help him learn. This is reasonably a simple craft work-
    • Take a cardboard, and trace out your child’s shoes on it
    • Color it with markers to make it resemble the actual shoe -(this step is only for aesthetics)
    • Draw small circles on the board in place of the holes in the shoe that has shoe laces inside
    • Poke real holes over these circles for inserting shoelaces
    • Now just like you would in a real shoe, insert the shoe laces in these holes, leaving the ends open for your child to practice tying knots

All the best!

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