4 Ways to Teach Kids to Tie Shoes

by | Aug 31, 2020 | Occupational Therapy

Learning how to tie shoes is an important milestone for self-care development in school aged children, which is often addressed by occupational therapists at TEAM 4 Kids. When you begin teaching your child how to tie shoes, try incorporating some of the following tips to make learning this new skill easier.

  • Contrasting lace/shoe color: using blue laces on a blue shoe can make it very difficult to see what’s happening.  Instead, try to use contrasting colors for the lace and shoe. We show an example of this in our YouTube video “Therapy Tip of the Week – Learning to Tie Shoes” . Using two different laces eliminates the confusion of which lace to use for each step.
  • Start on the tabletop: it’ll be much less daunting to practice on the tabletop first with good positioning and posture so a child doesn’t have to bend and reach as much while attempting to learn something new.  
  • Use different kinds of “laces”: practice tying a bow using a jump rope or a belt from a robe.  The larger size of these “laces” are easier for kids to hold and see while learning the first steps of shoe tying.
  • Various methods: if the traditional methods of tying shoes (one loop/balloon method or two loops/bunny ears method) are proving difficult, try out a non-traditional one!  Youtube has a vast array of options and unique hacks.

Hopefully these tips are helpful!  If you have any concerns regarding your child’s fine motor, visual perceptual, or self-care skills, please contact TEAM 4 Kids to schedule an occupational therapy evaluation.

Haley Cummings M.S., OTR/L