Shoelace Tying Information Sheet

Advice on shoelace tying along with some hints and tips

Shoelace Tying

Tying your own shoe laces requires a level of dexterity most children don’t possess until they’re between five and seven, so take it slow.


Hints and Tips

  • Practice looping the cords on the waistbands of shorts, joggers or dressing gowns just to get your child used to making that first part of a knot.
  • When trying to tie a shoelace for the first time have your child sit on the floor with the shoe between their legs.  This is easier than trying to reach down.  Once your child is able to tie the shoe in this position get your child to place the shoe on their knee whilst they are sitting on a chair or step.  Finally put the shoe on your child’s foot and have then put their foot up on a raised step or chair so that they can still see what they are doing.
  • Use two different coloured laces in the same shoe to allow the child to easily differentiate between the various steps involved (see downloadable Shoe Tying Programme).  Alternatively you can stick different colours of tape to the two different ends of a shoelace.
  • Flat laces are easier to tie than round ones as they are less likely to loosen between each stage.
  • For further ideas and methods see Ian’s Shoelace Site.
  • There is also a novelty activity book called ‘I can tie my own shoelaces’ which has a practice shoe with lace and 3 different methods of shoelace tying.

Videos for each step of Tying your Shoelace

Creating the Initial Knot (Alternative Method)

 One Loop Method (Traditional)

New Modern Method

Double Knot at Start

Double Knot at End

Alternative Strategies

If all else fails or your child is unable to master this skill then alternatives to shoelaces are available.  Obviously Velcro is the easiest way of fastening shoes however if your child has shoes with lace holes then please see Shoelace Tying Alternative Strategies for more information.


  • Introduction
  • Hints and Tips
  • Shoelace Videos
  • Alternative Strategies