Ways to Lace tennis shoes - Tennis Review

Ways to Lace tennis shoes

111Most preschoolers own at least one pair of tennis shoes. Teaching them to tie them can be a huge step towards independence. Introduce young children to the concepts of when to wear them, how to tie them, and how to lace them through fun activities and books.

  • Tennis shoes are a very popular choice of footwear for both children and adults. A great way for preschoolers to gain some independence is by learning to tie their own shoes. This skill, however can be very frustrating for children to learn. In order to ease their anxiety, provide hands-on activities where students will learn basic information about wearing, tying, and lacing tennis shoes.
  • Introducing Facts and Functions

    In preparation to introducing the basics of tying shoes, teachers can request that parents send their children to school wearing tennis shoes with laces on the specified date. A preschool theme on when these shoes are worn can be enhanced with bulletin board pictures of people wearing tennis shoes while playing sports, running, or walking through a park.

    Preschool teachers can begin the lesson by briefly explaining to students when tennis shoes were first invented, how they are useful in protecting feet during physical activities, and why they are comfortable for most people to wear. Children can participate by answering questions about where and when they like to wear sneakers, what their favorite color of show is, and how these shoes make their feet feel.

  • A Demonstration on How to Tie Shoes

    Typically, children in the 3 to 4 year age group are not yet developmentally able to tie their own shoes, so this demonstration serves as an introduction to the concept. Teachers should use an adult-sized shoe during the demonstration so that the preschoolers can easily see how each step is performed.


    1. Ask the children to sit in a semi-circle so that they can all view the shoe-tying process clearly. Begin by showing the students how to cross the two tennis shoe laces to form an "X".
    2. Explain to the children how one lace is looped under the "X" so that a knot is formed. Ask a student volunteer to pull both ends of the laces tightly until the knot is resting against the top of the shoe.
    3. Show the preschoolers how "bunny ears" are made with the laces, and finish the demonstration by folding one bunny ear under the other and pulling tightly to make a bow. If time permits, allow the children to take turns having their own shoes tied.
  • Coloring and Lacing a Paper Cut-Out

    This craft activity includes the opportunity for children to color and lace their own paper shoe. Teachers can help young children to develop fine motor skills by demonstrating how the yarn is laced through the holes in the paper.

    Materials needed:

  • Tennis shoe template printed on construction paper (1 per child)

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