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The Art of Shoe Tying

Article content provided by Dr. Kristy Bautista

The art of shoe tying is an important milestone for the development of any child is the experience and great sense of accomplishment. This milestone can also be difficult to accomplish and frustrating for children and parents. Fine motor, visual discrimination, bilateral hand manipulation, eye-hand coordination, visual perception, and motor planning (sequencing) are important foundational skills to acquire the skill of shoe tying efficiently and successfully.

Tips & Tools

  • It takes the use of two hands.

  • It takes the ability to discriminate and identify objects and textures.

  • It takes the ability to use your eyes to guide their hands.

  • It may require verbal directions to understand directions and steps.

  • It takes the ability to remember steps and sequences.

  • It takes time and patience

Activities to Try

Shoe Tying Egg Carton Activity

This hands-on shoe-tying task helps kids establish the skills they need to learn to tie their shoes in a fun and stress-free manner

Two-colored training kid's shoelaces

Shoe laces are extra wide so it's easier for little hands to grab, plus they are two-toned which means it is easier for your child visually to use them.

Steps for shoe tying

  1. Put both laces on one side of the shoe.

  2. Pick up one lace and go over and under the other lace.

  3. Hold the ends of both laces and pull tightly.

  4. Pick up the middle of the left lace and pinch it at the bottom.

  5. Pick up the other lace and wrap it around the loop.

Questions about ways to help your child achieve shoe tying?

Contact Dr. Kristy Bautista-Harris, Lead Occupational Therapist at

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