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Shoe Tying Tips & Resources

Shoe tying can be very challenging for children on the autism spectrum, ADHD, and those with a lack of fine motor skills and coordination. 

Here are our best shoe tying tips and resources!

Only two out of four of my children knows how to tie their shoes, and one of those two usually needs extra time to be successful. 

Dinomite learned how to tie his shoes at age twelve.  It was then and only then that he showed a desire and had the determination to be successful.

Princess learned how to tie her shoes at four years old. She was determined to be as independent as possible, not needing help from anyone, especially Mommy and Daddy.

It's not until now, at age thirteen, that Bulldozer is showing an interest in learning. But even with that desire the process is REALLY hard for him due to delays in fine motor skills and coordination issues. 

Yesterday as I was tying his boots to go outside to play in the snow, he let me know he wants to be able to do it himself as quickly as possible. 

I knew it was time to review shoe tying trips and resources I had gathered so many years ago when Princess was learning.
Shoe Tying Tips & Resources

Shoe Tying Tips and Resources

The Importance of Following the Child

Now, I want to be clear. I could have forced my kids to learn how to tie their shoes when it was most appropriate to do so. 

I did not.

I am a HUGE advocate of following the child and letting them set the pace for learning. 

It is far more important to me that all of my children find joy in their learning journey than it is for them to accomplish things "on time" and be miserable. 

Every child is unique and different. 

Dinomite, Bulldozer and Sunshine are autistic. 

Their learning path is very different from Princess.'

Up until now Bulldozer was perfectly fine wearing slip on shoes, boots, pants, etc. 

It hasn't been until he's grown into adult sized shoes and clothes that choices are more limited.  (Bulldozer has extra wide feet, so shoe choices are limited.)

Learning to Tie a Knot

It's been a long time since I've taught anyone to tie shoes. I've learned with my first two that my way doesn't necessarily correlate to their way.

When it comes to Bulldozer and eventually Sunshine, every single step of the process needs to be broken down into the simplest terms.

So, first I'll be teaching Bulldozer how to tie a simple knot. We worked on this at Christmas time while tying bows and it proved very difficult for him. 

I love these resources below to help. They give such great ideas for practicing!

All Tied Up from Maya Made

All Tied Up from Maya Made

Gold Ribbon Decoration: for fine motor knotting skills from Danya Banya

How to Tie a Shoe

Once Bulldozer has mastered the basic knot, we'll move on to tying shoes. I love all the tricks and tips provided in the posts below. 

My guess is that we'll try every single one to help him be as successful as possible. 

The most important thing I need to remember though, is that Bulldozer isn't just wanting to tie shoes. 

He wants to be able to tie everything. 

Once we do have shoes mastered, we will definitely be practicing on other objects like gifts, pants, and so much more! 

The Shoelace Trick That Changed Everything from STEAM Powered Family

5 Fun Motor Activities for Shoe Tying from Growing Hands On Kids

5 Fun Motor Activities for Shoe Tying from Growing Hands On Kids

Shoe Tying Tips & Tools from Sugar Aunts

Shoe Tying Tips & Tools from Sugar Aunts

The OT Way:  How to Tie a Shoe.  Step by Step Tutorial from the Jenny Evolution

Best Tips for Tying Shoe Laces from Your Kids OT Blog

Best Tips for Tying Shoe Laces from Your Kids OT Blog

Do you have a favorite trick or tip when teaching children how to tie shoes? I'd love to hear about it in comments.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the following resources.

Montessori-inspired Self-Care: Dressing Printable Pack What I Wish I'd Known When My Child was Diagnosed with Autism How to Help Your Autistic Child Play Board Games Successfully How to Help My Child Want to Try New Foods Autism and Montessori Practical Life at Home Practical Life with Food

1 comment:

  1. Ugh! I hated teaching my boys to tie their shoes. My youngest had pretty small feet so he never learned until he was 8 because he had never had shoes with laces. We found a fun book that practiced shoe tying but none of my boys were all that interested in it.... to be honest they still hardly ever tie their shoes; just slip them on and slip them off without ever untying the laces. It's an important skill but a fairy tricky one.