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Teach Kids To Tie Shoes: Quick And Easy Trick

Need a quick trick to teach kids to tie shoes? This lesson came from our OT and worked miracles!

Watch the video for a visual example, too.

Mister Man has some fine motor challenges. Needless to say, when he was little we always bought him shoes that had Velcro.

Easy. Done. But as his feet started to grow when he got into kindergarten and first grade, suddenly it wasn’t so easy to find those Velcro shoes anymore.

And in first grade, he started having cross country skiing as a gym activity, and those boots were only laces. And thus began my quest to teach kids to tie shoes, particularly my kids.

Fortunately in first grade they would help the kids tie their shoes, but they were told in the spring that they had to learn to tie “real” shoes or they weren’t going to be able to participate the next year. No big deal.

I remember learning to tie my shoes when I was in kindergarten or first grade – mostly because Velcro didn’t exist in shoes back then, and I had no choice.

I taught my tried and true method of making the loop and having the bunny get chased into the hole. Mister Man looked, watched, and told me he had it.

But no matter how many times he tried, he couldn’t figure out which string to pull when he got to the last step, and inevitably, it would all fall apart. He was frustrated, I got frustrated, and we took a break.

Fortunately, he was in the midst of occupational therapy at the time, and his therapist offered to teach him to tie his shoes one day because that was a skill she had on her docket. She didn’t tell me in advance, but he came out of his session beaming like I hadn’t seen in a long time.

It was pure pride on his face, and Andrea looked at me and announced that within a fifteen minute period, he had learned to tie his shoes.

Teaching kids to tie shoes can be frustrating, but with this simple trick, it's easy as can be for everyone!

All it took was a simple little trick that anyone can use to teach kids to tie shoes. I’ve used this trick to help friends teach kids to tie shoes since then, and it’s been a miracle worker.

The key seems to be giving kids a target so they know exactly what to grasp and pull at the end of the shoe tying to create the bow.

And yep, it’s worked for all of them so far. How about yours?

Go for it. Anyone can teach kids to tie shoes!

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  1. Laura says:

    AwesoAwesome ahie tying tip

  2. Ali says:

    I don’t know why but teaching my daughters to tie their shoes causes me anxiety. Weird, right? Thanks for this! It was really helpful and I have it book marked for when the time comes.

  3. Markeyta says:

    Omg I just came across this post about 15 minutes ago. I have a 5 year old who I have been struggling with to learn to tie his shoes. we have tried numerous times and tactics to get him to tie his shoe. In 5 minutes after veiwing your post. I accepted it as a challege to see if it would work or be a fail like so many things. Amazing he has learned to tie his shoes. Thank you soooo much!!

    • Michelle says:

      I am SO happy this worked for you! It isn’t a miracle cure for every child, but I had given up on my son learning to do this. And he *had* to do it in second grade to be able to participate in gym class for that activity. It worked like a charm for him and so glad to hear it worked for your son, as well.

  4. omg going to try this now. My kid is about to start 2nd grade and we just stopped trying because he was so frustrated by the whole thing

    • Michelle says:

      I have my fingers crossed it works for you. My kid just couldn’t figure out the mechanics of it and there were too many pieces moving in too many directions. The knot was the guidance he needed. Good luck!

  5. Michelle S says:

    I’m so glad I happened upon this! We will be using this to teach my daughter this week. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Jessica says:

    How long did he leave the knot in before getting the hang and realizing he could not use the knot trick?

    • Michelle says:

      It wasn’t long. I think we left it in there for maybe a week? Once he had the motion set, he was pretty good to go. I’d try taking it out after a week, and if it’s still a challenge put it back in for another week. I didn’t make it a tight knot, so I could remove it. Good luck!

  7. Mandy says:

    Can’t wait to give this a try with my son! I’ve never seen this method, but it looks easy enough.

  8. Laila (@OnlyLaila) says:

    Thanks for sharing this! This has been an ongoing challenge for my son (and me!)

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