Step-by-Step Instructions on Tying Shoe Laces the Bunny Ears Way

Learning to tie shoelaces can produce a sense of accomplishment and pride among young children. Teachers, parents and families begin teaching basic knots using a simple knot and build these skills with a two-looped knot that looks like bunny ears. While the two-looped knot involves more coordination to hold the loops in place, this knot follows the same process as a simple or starting knot.

  1. Starting Knot

    • The starting knot serves as the basis for learning to tie shoelaces. The starting knot is also called a half-hitch or overhand knot. After practicing and mastering the starting knot, you can adapt the process to form other knots.

      Hold a lace in each hand and point the laces in opposite directions to form an "X" with the right lace in front of the left lace (i.e., the left lace is pointing to the right and the right lace is pointing to the left). Wrap the left lace around and under the right strand (between the bottom legs of the "X"). Pull both laces apart to flatten the tied strands to the surface and tighten the knot.

    Bunny Ears

    • Tying shoelaces using bunny ears follows the same process as tying a starting knot, so adding a bunny ears knot on top of a starting knot creates a secure connection that doesn't loosen easily. Once you can tie a starting knot easily, expand your skills and tie a two-looped knot (bunny ears).

      Hold a lace in one hand and fold it in half to create a loop. Hold the middle of the loop with your thumb and index finger. Create a loop with the other strand and hold the middle of the loop with your thumb and index finger so that each hand holds a loop; both loops held together create bunny ears. Point the top of each loop in the opposite direction to form an "X" (as in the starting knot), with the right loop in front of the left loop. Push the left loop around and under the right loop (between the bottom legs of the "X"). Pull the top of the left bunny ear through the legs. Firmly hold the top of each bunny ear and pull these loops apart to tighten the knot.

    Practice

    • Teachers and families help children learn how to tie shoelaces using the starting knot and the bunny ears loop knot through a simple story or song. Websites such as A to Z Kids Stuff and Teachers.net provide a collection of songs and stories for shoelace-tying, such as the "Sad Bunny" story, "Teepee Song" and even the more recent SpongeBob SquarePants "Shoe-Tying Song." Reinforce practice by attaching laces to cardboard so that children can practice on a flat surface before bending down to tie their own shoes.

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