What Is a Fun Way to Teach a Child How to Tie Shoes?

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Why Teach Kids How to Tie Shoelaces?

Tying shoes is a significant developmental skill and one of the major life skills. In previous generations, children mastered the art of tying their laces before kindergarten. These days, with the popularity of slip-on, zip-up, flip-flop or Velcro shoes, the age at which kiddos master this skill is progressively higher, at around 6 years-old, with the help of a tutorial and parenting tips.

Tying shoelaces demonstrates an understanding of fine motor skills for children. You can start this process of learning to tie shoelaces by using many different shoes and different colors of shoelaces. There are a few different ways to tie shoes, so we want to provide some hacks for our bunny-ear method.

Some YouTube videos and printable instructions are available online for help with tying shoes, but we suggest this fun interactive method.

A Fun Way to Teach Young Kids How to Tie Shoes:

One easy DIY way to teach young children to tie shoes is to use a rhyme that serves as a reminder of the motions involved in this hands-on new skill. Here is our step by step guide for using a rhyme as a shoe tying method in a fun way:

1. Recite the Rhyme

Recite this rhyme before you start, to give your child an idea of what the rhyme consists of: "Bunny ears, bunny ears, playing by a tree. Criss-crossed the tree, trying to catch me. Bunny ears, Bunny ears, jumped into the hole, popped out the other side, beautiful and bold."

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2. Repeat the Rhyme

Repeat the rhyme while demonstrating the movements that correspond with each phrase. To make the tree, hold one lace in each hand and cross them to form an "X." Then, hold both laces in one hand and with your free hand, bring one lace under the other and pull tightly on both laces. This is the "tree."

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3. Bunny Ears Method

Take each lace and form a large loop. Hold one loop in each hand. These are the "bunny ears." Point to each loop as you say, "Bunny ears, bunny ears, playing by a tree."

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4. Criss-Cross

Say "Criss-crossed the tree," and make an "X" with the ears. Continue with "trying to catch me."

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5. Push Lace Into the Hole

Say "Bunny ears, bunny ears jumped into the hole," and push one of the bunny ears into the hole you created at the bottom of the center of the laces when you crossed them.

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6. Finish the Rhyme

Finish the rhyme with "Popped out of the other side beautiful and bold," and grab the loop as it comes through the hole. Pull both bunny ears tightly, tying the shoe.

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7. Let the Child Try It Themselves

Give the child a shoe and repeat the rhyme, with the actions, having him follow your movements. Repeat until he seems comfortable with it.

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Note

Replace corded and coiled, no-tie laces with standard flat laces. Avoid round "fashion" laces, which are more difficult to tie and tend to come untied sooner.

Help the child remember the movements and the rhyme, but do not tie your child’s shoes for her after she has had one week of practice.

Warnings

  • Shoe laces are a choking hazard for very small children.