17 answers

Help Teaching My Child to Tie Her Shoes...

My 5 yr old still cant tie her shoes. I have tried to teach her in different ways, one way was the book with the sneaker on the front of it. I was wondering if anybody has a special tip or trick ( maybe a song or something) to help me out? I have to admit, this area is not where I have mega patience with! Thanks in advance!

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The best way for a beginner to learn to tie shoes is to make 2 loope and knot them. If you can get her to tie a knot, then she can tie her shoes using this method. Just tell her she has to make 2 rabbit ears then tie them together just like she did with the knot, so the bunny cannot hear her secrets. My son was the only kid tying his shoes when he was 3. Later on, when he got older, he learned how to do it with one loop.

Hi L.,
Some kids have trouble with the looping and pulling the lace through. I suggest that you have her make one rabbit ear, then the other and then loop them through. I used a shoe box that I put laces in the cover to teach my kids, however, the sneaker book is the same idea. Don't worry, she'll get the hang of it.
M.

More Answers

I have a great trick that really works. My Mom taught me and my two siblings this way and I have since taught my own two children. Take the belt off a terry cloth bathrobe and tie it to the back of a chair and have your child learn to tie a bow this way first. It is on a much bigger scale than tiny little shoe laces. When my kids were learnnig I had a chair with my bathrobe belt on it in their playroom for a couple of days and they would sit and practice while they watched TV or listened to music. Within a day or two they were be able to tie the bow on the bathrobe and once they really understand the concept you can move to smaller things until they can do it on their shoe. Even after she learns to tie her shoe, it does take a long time before she will have the ablilty to tie it tight enough that it won't keep coming undone. Using the bathrobe method my daughter learned to tie her shoes at 4 years old, however she was almost 6 before she had the ability to pull the shoe laces tight enough that they wouldn't constantly come undone. My suggestion is once she learns, let her do the initial tying and then you put a double knot to keep it in place. It is very frustrating for them once they get it, but the shoe still keeps coming untied. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know if this will help you but I will share my experience with my youngest son. I tried and tried and tried to get him to tie his shoes with no success. We went to a shoe store and the salesman showed him how to tie his shoe and that is the end of the story.

My answer is: It sometimes takes a stranger (your sister, mother, neighbor) to get them to listen.

D.
I'm 60 years old, been married to the same man for 38+ years and have two grown sons and a daughter-in-law.

my 5 year old isnt even thinking about tying his shoes yet. i wouldnt sweat it. go with slip ons, those elastic laces, etc, for when you're in a hurry. especially for a girl, so many options with straps and things. plus, you dont have to worry about them coming open and her tripping :)

Hi L.,
Some kids have trouble with the looping and pulling the lace through. I suggest that you have her make one rabbit ear, then the other and then loop them through. I used a shoe box that I put laces in the cover to teach my kids, however, the sneaker book is the same idea. Don't worry, she'll get the hang of it.
M.

Hi L.,

Most kids are 5 or 6 when they first learn to tie their shoes, it's not unusual for a 5 year old not to have mastered this yet. It takes good fine motor skills which some kids have not yet developed - it's a physical development thing. This is also something that is commonly taught in kindergarten, so if she is starting kindy in the fall, her teacher may work with the kids on this. When my oldest was in kindy, her teacher had the kids all bring in a coffee can with plastic lid and they made shoe tying cans, punched holes in the plastic lid and laced a shoelace through from underneath, and that's what she practiced on.
Good luck!

Has she actively tried herself? I'm thinking maybe she needs to be left alone with it. Help her on with her shoes and leave her alone a bit...see what happens, maybe she'll surprise you....
or
Maybe tie one shoe for her and say "Mommy needs help here today, tie the other shoe for me sweetie."

Don't give up, stay calm with it, think positive, at some point she'll catch on....

spongebob helped my son...its the loop-de-loo song....

I had purchased a book with shoelaces that showed children 2 methods for learning to tie their shoes. The shoelaces on each side of the book were different colors so that really helped in the learning process. I don't recall what the book was called, but I'm sure a Borders or Barnes and Noble would sell an item like this.

Hope this helps!

Dear L., children learn through imitation about the world around them. Do you or any one in your household have shoes with laces? A little story or a poem would help while you accompany the different steps of the tying. It takes time for children to penetrate their body. Be patient, our modern life style is not helping in this regard. Our little children learn only through IMITATION rerally do they learn from INSTRUCTIONS. If you want your child to do anything you have to be the example and way shower. I have raised my three children the Waldorf way. It made everything much easier.

Hi there. My son is 5 1/2 and doesn't tie his shoes...actually until I read your post I never even thought about it. He's always had velcro's. So his friend is playing at our house today and he will be 6 this month and he said that he doesn't know how to tie his shoes...and i noticed he is also in velcro. Hmmmm, maybe we should be working on it at least. Anyway...your 5 year old isn't the only one! :)

I noticed that the 1st two people to respond said what I was going to say... at 5 many kids are not ready yet! I teach 1st grade and would say half can tie shoes in September (many are already 6 by then) and half can't. A few even leave in June still not able! Don't get frustrated! Just keep providing her with the opportunity to practice, but don't push her!
:)

Hi L.,
I would recommend you not to worry about this too much. I have a 10 and a 5 year old girls and before my oldest started preschool I was going nuts about teaching her in how to tie her own shoes. When I finally accomplished my goal... The preschool teachers send us letters saying that they wanted us (parents) to send our kids to school with lace-free type of shoes. (It was obvious that the teachers themselves didn't want to deal with all that work) Since then my two daughters never used shoes with laces, not because I didn't want to buy them, but because I all could see had velcro on them....
The oldest eventually learn and is teaching my youngest to do it....
I still think that it's important for the kids to know how to do it, but don't worry too much about that. She'll learn eventualy....

my daughter is almost 5 too and doesn't know how either. I myself didn't learn until I was about 7- and I'm fine. Don't worry about it- just practice, practice, practice. Eventually we all figure it out!

Hi L., I don't have any advice but I am curious to see the responses. My grand daughter is almost 6 and does not want to tie her shoes. She started day camp and I bought her velcro sneakers so she won't walk around untied and get hurt. I have tried to teach her and so have her parents. After raising 5 of my own I though I knew what I was doing, but I guess not. My best wishes, Grandma Mary

I had the same problem with both my girls and very little patience after trying so hard. This she will probably learn in school from other kids, in the meantime, get velcro, it saved my sanity, lol.

The best way for a beginner to learn to tie shoes is to make 2 loope and knot them. If you can get her to tie a knot, then she can tie her shoes using this method. Just tell her she has to make 2 rabbit ears then tie them together just like she did with the knot, so the bunny cannot hear her secrets. My son was the only kid tying his shoes when he was 3. Later on, when he got older, he learned how to do it with one loop.

There's the whole bunny ears thing but really at 5, not a lot of kids tie their own shoes these days so don't stress! Practice, practice, practice and have velcro or slip on's around for those days that you're in a hurry...my sons were the only ones in their kindergarden classes who could tie shoes...and that was three different classes...so really there is no rush! Just set 5 minutes a day to practice and then go on with your day...in a while she'll get it, and remember it's a hand-eye coordination thing so physically she may not be ready yet!

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