Shoe tying is one of those rites of passage that we’ve all brokered through in our early years and is one of those skills that all kids (and parents) still have to deal with at some time or another. For some kids, this ability doesn’t come easily. Individuals with low hypotonia (low muscle tone) find this is especially challenges.
Tying shoes takes a lot of fine motor dexterity (finger movement) along with the need to remember a sequence. In addition, you consistently use both sides of your body together. Kids who struggle prefer to have slip on shoes or Velcro, and as parents, sometimes we welcome that because it makes life easier. However, as kids get older, it can be harder and harder to find shoes that are either Velcro/slip ones and look age appropriate.
In terms of ways to tie shoes, we all know the standard “one loop, wrap around, swoop and pull knot” and the “two bunny ear loop technique”.
Leslie Steed, an occupational therapist at Children’s Health, offers a third method that may offer an easier path to mastering this skill. She demonstrates this two loop two knot technique where you have to do the same step twice (easier to remember). You actually end up with a shoe that is double knotted! A win win!
Take a look at her video:
Please also take note of her modifications that include tying a knot at the end so that the loops become permanent or even tying the ends of the laces together, again forming a permanent loop.
Now, if your child continues to still continues to struggle, there are things out there that allow you to modify the shoe laces but still look cool: