Sayings That Help Children Learn to Tie a Shoe

Catchy rhymes help kids remember the steps in tying a shoe.
... Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

1 Tips and Hacks to Teach Kids to Tie Shoes

Peruse the youth athletic shoe aisle and you'll likely see a huge selection of shoes fastened with Velcro or elastic, with nary a shoelace in sight. Although convenient, your child will eventually grow into a shoe with laces and he'll need to tie them. According to, most kids have the fine motor skills and mental capacity to remember the steps involved in shoe-tying between ages 4 and 6.

This step by step guide will offer some tips and tricks, like catchy rhymes, songs, and sayings that can help your kiddo learn this new skill in a fun way. Make sure your child’s shoes won’t always be slip ons or velcro shoes, and before they head back to school, make sure lacing shoes is at the top of your list of life skills to teach them!

2 Sing It!

Help your little ones remember the process to tie shoelaces with a song that she can sing anytime, anywhere. Sing to the tune of "Splish, Splash," by Bobby Darin:

Make an "X" and go under the bridge, then you have to pull it out tight. Make a loop and keep a long tail, that is how to do it right. Wrap that tail around the loop, push it through the hole and tug. Tighten those laces, whoop, whoop, Now you deserve a great big hug!

This can be sung to the tune of other kids songs as well - be as creative as you want!

3 Tell a Story

A short story can help your child remember how to arrange his laces into a firm knot. Use an animal or character he's interested in to craft a quick tale for this tutorial. For example:

"Batman was in his hideout (pull laces up and cross one under the other to form a tent shape) when it collapsed (pull on each end to make a tight knot). So he jumped into the Batmobile, (make first loop for bow) drove around the block, (wrap other lace around loop) and parked inside Robin's cave to create a plan (push lace under new loop and pull to tighten).

4 Rhyme It!

A quick nursery rhyme is fun to recite and easy for young children to remember each step of the shoe-tying process on their own shoes.

Make an "X", here we go. Pull one side under, now I know!

Pull the ends tight, and make a loop. Wrap around the bottom, I've got the scoop!

Push through the hole, pull it through once more. Tighten both ends, and give a whoop!

5 Bunny Ears

Teach your child the easy bunny ears method by making two loops and joining them in a knot. Although not as tight as the traditional tie, it is a good starting place. Describe the loops as "Bunny Ears" to provide a visual image for your child. Start with the first over-under knot already in place.

Take one lace and make a rabbit's ear. Hold the ear tight at the bottom while you make his other ear. Fold one ear under the other and pull the ears tight.

Dana Tuffelmire has been writing for DMS for three years. She taught elementary school for seven years and earned a master’s of education degree with a specialization in literacy. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two sons. Her dream is to one day write a children's book.