Fine motor skills


Learning to tie shoelaces is hard. Learning how to do it before you need to wear shoes with laces is a good idea.


It requires a child to be able to use both hands together to do different jobs.

Tying shoe laces requires strong fine motor skills including finger isolation, bilateral hand coordination, visual perceptual skills, hand-eye coordination and hand strength. Learning to tie shoelaces for the first time can be very rewarding. It may also be frustrating for kids if they become overwhelmed

One Loop Method

Advice and strategies

  • Start by learning how to untie your shoelaces. You might need to get someone to tell or show you how to do this.
  • There are lots of different ways to tie shoelaces. Watch different videos of how to tie shoelaces. Try the way that makes the most sense to you. If that is too tricky try something else. Keep going until you find the way that is right for you.
  • Make time to practice. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
  • Sit down or kneel down. Sitting on a chair or a step might be easier. If you find this difficult, you could learn and practice with the shoe on a table in front of you. Once you find this easy, try with the shoe on your foot.
  • Ask for help if you need it. It can be hard to learn all the steps in one go. Have someone help you with most of the steps and you can learn the last one. Each time your helper will do a bit less for you. Watch the videos or use the Step by Step Guides to help you.
  • Using two different coloured laces in the same shoe can help sometimes. You can stick different colours of tape to the two different ends of a shoelace.
  • Flat laces are easier to tie than round ones. They don’t come loose between each step.

New Modern Method

This new method is another way to tie your shoelaces. This method is good for right and left-handed people.

Double Knot at Start

This video shows you how to stop the laces from becoming too loose when starting to tie a shoelace. It involves wrapping the lace around twice instead of once.

Double Knot at End

This video shows you how to stop the shoelace knot from falling out. It involves knotting the two loops at the end.

Alternative strategies

If you still find shoelaces difficult there are lots of alternatives out there.

You can get trainers, school shoes and sports shoes that do up with Velcro in lots of different sizes. Or you can choose slip on shoes to avoid laces altogether.

You also get elastic shoelaces and bits to add to laces so you don’t have to tie them.

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