How to teach shoe tying

How to Teach Shoe Tying

Parents of typical and atypical developing children both come to me asking, how, how do you teach shoe tying. 

Shoe tying is a very complex skill to learn. You not only need the hand strength and manipulation skills, but you also need to be able to complete a multi-step sequencing task, as well as the hand-eye coordination to sneak that lace through the “hole”. 

STOP! Before you begin, you will need buy-in from your child. You need them to want to learn the skill. If they don’t care about learning to tie their shoes then they likely will not learn the skill. 


Let’s break it down. 

⭐️ OPTION 1: Start with unlacing one side of the shoelace and thread in a different color shoelace. The higher contrast the better! Tuck the excess laces in the shoe.

⭐️ OPTION 2: Grab a pair of these awesome high contrast laces! 

⭐️ Double loop the lace and pull tight so it stays in place while they do the next steps.

⭐️ Make 2 bunny ears and cross them.

⭐️ This is where the double color really pays off. They can now see the middle hole to thread one of the ears through.

⭐️ Double knot.


Hi I'm Amber Alverson, Pediatric Occupational Therapist

You don’t need a background in childhood development or neuroscience to help your child thrive. 

I guide parents just like you to understand your child’s unique challenges and support them with tools and strategies to help them succeed physically, socially, and emotionally in their current environment.

Let's Connect!

Get the Developmental Milestone Checklist!

Skip to content