Remember the shoe tying poem about a rabbit popping out of the hole? Children always learn best with multi-sensory methods — visually seeing how it’s done, hearing a funny phrase to remember the steps, feeling the laces while practicing their fine-motor skills.
Here are some helpful stories, poems, rhymes for teaching preschoolers how to tie shoes, with shoe tying tips for both parents and teachers.
Helpful Shoe Tying Tips for Parents
- Make sure your child is developmentally ready to learn shoe tying, usually around age 5-6.
- If your child gets frustrated, take a break for a few weeks, then try again. Velcro is still a cool option, so don’t pressure.
- Practice other fine-motor skill activities like chopsticks, lacing cards, nuts & bolts, monkey bars, and puzzles.
- Practice tying something bigger first, like tying a jump rope around a tree!
- Use different color shoe laces, so kids see the steps more easily.
- Sit behind the child while tying their shoes so they can see from their view how it is done.
Shoe Tying Classroom Tips for Preschool Teachers
- Make a big deal when a child learns how to tie their shoes. As an incentive, give them a new pair of laces, sticker, or pencil.
- Have a designated student to tie shoes. The children who can tie shoes get more practice and the teachers don’t have to tie them all the time.
- Use the “Ask 3 Before Me” rule: Before asking the teacher for help, ask 3 other children first. Children have an opportunity to practice their social-skills by learning to ask for help, and opportunity to help others.
Rhymes and Poems about Tying Shoelaces
Bunny Poem #1
Bunny ears, Bunny ears, playing by a tree.
Criss-crossed the tree, trying to catch me.
Bunny ears, Bunny ears, jumped into the hole,
Popped out the other side beautiful and bold.
Bunny Poem #2
Over, under, around and through,
Meet Mr. Bunny Rabbit, pull and through.
Non-Bunny Poem #3
Over, under, pull it tight,
Make a bow, Pull it through to do it right.
Shoe Tying Songs for Preschoolers
Build a tee pee, come inside
Close it tight so we can hide
Over the mountain and around we go
Here’s my arrow and here’s my bow!
Criss Cross Tying Shoes
(Sung to the Tune: Splish Splash I was taking a Bath)
Criss Cross and go under the bridge
Then you got to pull it tight.
Make a loop but keep a long tail
That is how to do it right
Then you take the other string and
you wrap it ’round the loop
Pull it through the hole
Now you got the scoop
Criss Cross and go under the bridge (this is where you tie the loops together)
Now you made a Double Knot!
Shoe Tying Stories
The Story of the Sad, Long-Eared Rabbit
Once there was a rabbit that was very sad because
his ears were so long and narrow that he stepped on them all the time.
One day a fairy landed on the bunny’s head.
She lifted up the bunny’s ears and crossed them over like an x.
Then she put one ear through the bottom of the x and pulled.
Next, she made each long ear into a loop and made another x like before.
She put an ear under that x and pulled again.
From then on the bunny remembered how to tie his ears into a bow,
and he lived happily every after.
The Teepee Story
A Native American made a teepee (pull lace up and cross one under the other)
and it collapsed! (pull first “knot” down).
So he started another, (make first loop for bow)
and he took this string and went around it, (wrap other lace around loop)
and went inside, (push lace under new loop)
and there he had it! Two Tents! (pull loops for bow) .
My Shoelace Blues
I’ve tried and tried to tie you, shoe.
I’ve never done it yet.
A loop that flip-flops on the floor
Is as close as I can get.
I’ve practiced on spaghetti.
I’ve practiced on the mop.
I’ve practiced on my sister until she made me stop.
So here’s the loop again, shoe.
I’ll hold it with my thumb.
I’ll wrap the other end around…
And yank it into bows. It’s done!