Sayings That Help Children Learn to Tie a Shoe

By Daisy Peasblossom Fernchild
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One of the skills taught to kindergarten children during the school year is how to tie their shoes. Shoes are commonly tied using a bow, which can be hard for kindergarten children to master. There are three different ways to tie a shoe securely. The verse that you use to teach your child to tie his shoes should fit the method you choose to teach your child. You might need to try more than one.

The Traditional Bow

Teacher's Net gives us a song to sing to the tune of "Splish, Splash, I was Taking a Bath." The words are "Criss Cross and go under the bridge; then you got to pull it tight. Make a loop but keep a long tail, that is how to do it right. Then you take the other string and you wrap it 'round the loop. Pull it through the hole, now you got the scoop." As you sing criss cross, under the bridge, you make a single knot. For the first "make a loop," you show your child how to make a loop held near the knot with his dominant hand. Help him use the other hand to wrap the opposite end around the loop and around the fingers holding the loop so that they can grab the string and pull it "through the hole" to make the second loop. Finally, pull it tight.

Bunny Ears Method

The next verse has to do with the bunny ears method of tying shoes. "First I criss-cross my rabbits feet, tuck one under, nice and neat. Then I hold his ears up there, and then I tie them in a square." To tie a bow using this method, first tie the ordinary single knot. Make a loop close to the first knot, on either side, then going the opposite way from the original loop direction, tie the "ears" in another single knot. This creates a square knot that can be undone by pulling on the ends.

Loop it, Swoop it

The saying that goes with this method is "Loop it, Swoop it, Pull." First, tie the single knot. Next, use the dominant hand to go under one lace and pull it toward the front of the shoe, and the other hand to go under the other lace and pull it back toward you, forming two loops. With opposite fingers, reach through the loop, grasp the string, and pull it through. Once mastered, this method is quick and easy.

Some Helpful Hints

Fasten a shoe to a wooden board and stuff it with paper for shoe-tying practice; it is much easier to tie a shoe when it is not on your foot. Use broad, easy-to-tie laces. Cut apart two different colors of shoe lace, tie them in the middle, and lace up the practice shoe with the two-color lace. This makes it easier for a child to see how the loops work. Use multiple short coaching sessions, instead of one long one until the skill is mastered.