Shoe Tying Tips & Tricks

I have to admit that my daughter who recently turned 6 has not learned to tie her shoes. My mom tells me that when I was in preschool I was the kid tying other kids shoes under the table (not sure why we were under the table but thats besides the point!). I would have been four years old in preschool. It seems that kids these days are learning some of these skills later in life. Is it because of the invention of velcro shoes or are we just not teaching them these skills when we used to? Since my daughter is starting grade 1 really soon I thought now is the time to focus on teaching her to tie her shoelaces. Today I used the video below for the around the tree method and a lacing card I made (picture below) and she picked it up very quickly!

Here are some general tips and tricks I have compiled for children learning to tie their shoes or those that are needing some extra help learning:

  • Replace thin, round shoelaces with soft, wide (but not too wide) shoelaces that are easier to grip (also they stay tighter when tied)
  • Cotton or other natural fibres will be easier then slippery synthetic shoelaces
  • Use shoelaces that are designed for learning – half one colour and half another colour (can make them by cutting two different coloured laces and sewing or tying them together)
  • Try using a double starting knot to keep the shoelaces tight
  • Knot the end of each shoelace to prevent them from slipping through the loops
  • Have the child start practicing with the shoe on a table or on their lap so they are in a good, comfortable position
  • Help your child to make their own shoelace tying practice board out of cardboard


  • There are commercially available products to help with practicing (e.g. Melissa & Doug lacing sneaker)
  • Try out different methods to see which works best for your child:
    • Standard shoelace knot (around the tree method) – see video here
    • Two loop shoelace knot (bunny ears method)
    • Ian knot – see video here
  • Make sure your child’s shoes are untied every time they take them off so they can practice each time they put their shoes on – repetition is the key to success

Good luck!