Learning to tie their shoes is an important life skill your child will need to know. Many shoes have laces, while other things may have string or rope that needs to be tied. It can take some time for children to learn how to tie shoes, but that’s normal.
If you’re unsure where to start or when to begin teaching them, we can help. Here are some of the best tips and products that can help make it easier for your little one to understand and, in some cases, have fun learning how to tie shoes.
When Do Kids Learn How to Tie Shoes?
Many parents want their kids to learn how to tie their shoes by kindergarten. However, did you know that some little ones aren’t quite ready until they are six years old?1 It is common for kids under 6 to still lack the coordination and motor skills needed to master tying their shoes. If this sounds like your child, don’t worry! Stick to shoes with hook-and-loop fasteners like Velcro, for now, to make it easier at school and start practicing at home.
How You Can Help
You can do several things to help your child learn how to tie their shoes. We have gathered our most effective tips and tricks to make it easier for them. Plus, there are products you can purchase that include books that can help them not get discouraged if they struggle and encourage them to practice. After all, shoe tying isn’t a natural skill.
Tips and Tricks to Learn How to Tie Shoes
These are some of our favorite tips, tricks, and hacks that can help your kiddo learn to tie their shoes all by themselves.
Start with Pipe Cleaners
Pipe cleaners keep their shape and can make it easier for you to model how to tie shoes. Plus, it will make it easier for them to practice. This shows them exactly what each step and the result look like without falling like flimsy laces.
Practice with Shoes Off
Tying laces for the first time can be much easier without wearing shoes. You can work up to that, but it’s more comfortable for beginners. They can see what they’re doing up close this way, too.
This is the method that everyone is the most familiar with. You make a loop with one lace, wrap the other around it, then pull it through. This is likely how your parents taught you to tie your shoes when you were little.
I’ll be honest; I struggled to tie my shoes. I can do the 1-loop method now, but I had a hard time with it when I was learning. The 2-loop method was so much easier for me to understand. Make two loops or “bunny ears,” one with each shoelace. Then crisscross them and pull through. Seeing that modeled for me made more sense. Give it a try if your child is having a hard time.
Products to Help Children Learn to Tie Their Shoes
Some books help with tying shoes. The ones we have chosen have laces built so your child can practice while reading. Plus, you can purchase sneaker models and lacers to make the extra practice fun! We picked the best ones and included them below.
How to Tie Your Shoes
This is an easy-to-read board book with a model shoe. It includes four tying methods and color-coded laces to make the directions simple.
I Can Tie My Shoelaces
Here is a fun rhyming story that your kids will love. The book includes step-by-step tying instructions and a model shoe on the front for practicing. I highly recommend this book as a fun way to get your child interested and engaged in learning.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wood Lacing Sneaker
Melissa & Doug makes so many wonderful educational toys for kids. This wooden lacing sneaker makes it easier for your little one to practice their shoe-tying skills instead of using the shoes on their feet. It’s a fun interactive toy that they will want to use.
NUOBESTY Shoelace Threading Teaching Toys
This is a set of five super helpful cardboard lacers. Since there is more than one, you can turn it into a fun game with your child and lace the shoes together. They can learn from your modeling, which can be a lot of fun for the two of you to do together.
Songs to Help Children Learn
We are in an era where children are being born right into technology. It’s likely you and your child have watched something on YouTube together. What better way to teach than through song? These are our two favorite choices.
Cocomelon’s Tie Your Shoes
Every young child likely knows all about Cocomelon. This video about tying shoes can be found on both YouTube and Netflix. There are many catchy tunes made by Cocomelon, from going to the potty to eating your vegetables. So, it’s unsurprising that there is one for learning to tie shoes. Check it out!
How to Tie Your Shoes with Josh and Blue
Growing up, I loved the original Blues Clues, so my children watch the new series with Josh and his dog Blue. It’s a fun educational show that teaches your little one new things. This song is a fun YouTube video that helps guide your kiddo to tie their shoes. It’s so motivating and memorable.
It’s important to remember that it’s normal for your little one to struggle with learning to tie their shoes at first. However, with some practice and encouragement, they will pick up this new skill in no time.