3 Hacks for Teaching Kids How to Tie Their Shoes

Have you been trying to teach your kids to tie their shoelaces without much success? Check out these expert-approved tips and videos for help.

Boy Tying Shoelaces
Photo: ARIMAG/Shutterstock

Teaching your little ones to tie their shoelaces can be one of the more frustrating parenting lessons. It's just really hard to have your own adult-sized fingers demonstrate what your kiddo's tiny hands should do, you know? Here, we share some expert tips for teaching your kid how to tie their shoes, plus two videos that have helped countless children master the task. But remember: Tying shoes is recommended for those age 4 and up, who have the motor skills necessary for it.

The Basic Steps for Tying Shoes

Show your kid to tie their shoes the grown-up way, which experts say is easier to follow than some supposed "kid versions." To help them get the hang of it and remember their steps, turn the bolded words below into a little song. (Everybody now: "Knot, bunny ear, wrap…!")

  1. Knot: Sit behind your child and guide their hands with your own. Hold a lace in each hand, crisscross them into an X, then tuck one lace through the hole. Pull both laces to tighten.
  2. Bunny ear: Using one lace, create a loop to look like a bunny's ear, and pinch it closed in your child's fingers.
  3. Wrap: Direct their opposite hand to wrap the other lace around the bunny ear.
  4. Bunny ear: Push the loose lace through the hole under it to make a second bunny ear.
  5. Whiskers: Pull both ears to tighten. The ends of the laces become "whiskers" and should be about as long as the ears.

Clever Shoe Tying Video for Kids

Maybe the answer is having another kid teach yours how to their shoes—that kid just might be Colton, a five-year-old who went viral after demonstrating his go-to tying trick (it helps that he's super cute, but this kid actually does have a pretty sweet technique up his sleeve!).

The video of Colton sharing his hack first appeared on Love What Matters' Facebook page, where it was viewed over 7 million times. Colton demonstrates his trick, which involves sticking the ends of laces through holes in the shoes, then crossing the laces one under the other before tying. After he finishes tying them, Colton pulls the laces out of the holes and then admits he learned the trick from a friend.

Other kids are clearly benefiting from Colton's video. "Awesome! We did it!! My five yr old struggled so much and we have watched YouTube videos with no success…watched this and did it right away!! He is so proud of himself!!" one Facebook user shared. Another added: "Thanks Colton for your very handy video. My 5-year-old has been struggling to get the hang of tying his shoes. One look at your vid and he's now a pro!!"

3-Step Shoe Tying Video for Kids

Want another shoe-tying video? Check out Unstoppable Mother's Facebook tutorial on tying shoes, which has been viewed 9.3 million times. In the 1-minute clip, mom Kirsten Johnson (aka Unstoppable Mom) takes viewers through "the world's easiest way" to teach a kiddo how to tie their shoes. Her three-step method involves two knots and bunny ears. That's it!

To prove how simple Johnson's method is, she asks her son to try it. Spoiler alert: He nails it!


  • Ian Fieggen, aka Professor Shoelace, who shares the many ways to tie a shoe on YouTube (@ProfessorShoelace)
  • Dawnavyn James, a kindergarten teacher in Columbia, Missouri, who posts about her classroom on Instagram (@queendomteaching) and TikTok (@dawnahtelloh)
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