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How To Tie School Shoes:
A Step By Step Guide

How To Tie School Shoes

As a kid, learning to tie your own shoe laces was probably one of your proudest moments. Laces aren’t the easiest form of fastening when it comes to children's shoes, especially when they’re eager to get on and do what they’ve got to do.

With that in mind, teaching your little one to tie their shoes as early as possible can be a massive help when it comes to calming your nerves and theirs as they start their journey through school. Understanding how to tie school shoes can be especially useful when you can’t be around during class to do it for them.

There are a vast array of methods out there when it comes to tying laces, some are hugely complex and more of an art form, which are probably best reserved for later down the line once basic skills have been established.

Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the simpler methods of tying shoe laces that will help children gain a better understanding of how to tie a shoelace step by step with minimal fuss:

Simple Method: Bunny Ears

Simple Method: Bunny Ears

Probably one of the most well respected techniques when it comes to teaching kids how to tie shoelaces, the Bunny Ears method creates a square knot and is probably one of the easiest to learn. Follow the super easy steps below for the perfect bunny ears knot:

Step 1 — Take one lace in each hand, holding them in place with your thumb and index finger.

Step 2 — Keeping hold of each lace, cross them over each other to create an “X”, now tuck the top lace under the bottom lace and pull it through, this will create your starting knot. The lace that started on the left should now be on the left and vice versa.

Step 3 — Next, create a “bunny ear” with each lace. Again, cross the “ears” over to create and “X”. Take the bottom “bunny ear” and loop it over and then under the top one to create your first knot.

Step 4 — Once the first knot is secure, pull the ears to tighten the knot. Step 3 can then be repeated for added security if needed.

And voila! A perfectly tied and secure pair of shoelaces that can be undone easily with a simple tug on the ends of the lace (it can be slightly more difficult if using a double knot).

TOP TIP: When teaching your little one to tie laces, opt for round laces rather than flat, this will make the process easier and they’re less likely to snag when untying.

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Classic Method: One Loop

Classic Method: One Loop

Another great way to tie shoe laces, though a slightly more complex method is the one loop method, often referred to as the “granny knot”, though technically that is something different in traditional terms. Though it’s not mandatory, it may be better to teach this as an alternative once your little one has mastered the bunny ears method. Follow our step by step process for the one loop knot:

Step 1 — Create a starting knot by holding one shoelace in each hand, cross them over one another to create an “X”, next tuck the top lace under the bottom lace and pull it through.

Step 2 — Create a loop with one of the laces.

Step 3 — Keeping hold of the loop, take the other shoelace and place it over the top of the loop.

Step 4 — Still holding onto the looped lace, use your spare hand to grab the other lace midway up from underneath the loop. Ensure you’ve gone through the hole that’s been created above the “X”.

Step 5 — Gently pull the lace you’ve just picked up through the hole, this should then start to make another loop.

Step 6 — Once the second loop has been created, gently start to pull the first loop at the same time. This should then tighten and finish the knot.

TOP TIP: If either of the loops go too far and come undone while pulling, STOP! Continuing to pull will cause the knot to get stuck and will be harder to undo. To release it, simply pull the end of the lace for the loop that is still in tact.

Extra Tips

Extra Tips For Teaching Kids

There are a few things that can be done to help kids learn when it comes to tying their school shoes. Some of the best tools to use are pipe cleaners, they make a fantastic alternative to laces when first starting out, the extra rigidity means they’re much more likely to stay in place when practicing.

Child Tying Shoes

You could also create a practice board. Take a piece of cardboard and draw a bird's eye view of a pair of shoes, you could even encourage your little one to decorate them if you wish. Pierce holes where the eyelets would be and then thread a pair of shoelaces through as you would on a real pair of shoes. This is a great tool for your little one as it means they can also get creative with different lacing styles too.

Lacing Methods

Lacing Methods

There are probably hundreds if not thousands of different methods when it comes to lacing up shoes and experimenting with different styles is definitely part of the fun when it comes to learning to tie shoelaces.

When you’re teaching your little ones how to lace school shoes, the most common methods of lacing would be the standard criss-cross lacing and the straight bar lacing. Both are simple to do and look good when the shoelaces are tied.

The most secure would be the criss-cross method. As the name suggests, this method interlocks the laces as they pass through the eyelets from right to left in a zigzag pattern. This allows you to have more control over how tight or loose the laces are on the foot.

The straight bar method, though perfectly suitable for use in children's shoes, is more fashion led and doesn’t quite offer the same level of control over tightness as the criss-cross method does. They do however look smart and tidy, making them most suitable for formal or dress wear.



Teaching kids how to tie their school shoes is one of those tasks that may seem like an impossibility, but with a straightforward technique, simple tools to help them get sorted and a huge amount of patience, we’re certain they’ll get there in no time at all!

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