Ever wondered why shoelace tying can be so difficult for some of us?

Sometimes learning can bit a bit of a blur. I have personally experienced this many times for many reasons…..the task or idea is too big & too overwhelming for me to understand!!

Shoelace tying can be a bit like that to some learners. Here's one reasons why:

Difficulty with 'abstract' thinking - it's hard to get your head or mind around the idea & thought processes of shoelace tying. You can't just see it & pick it up like an object, for example a square & teach, 'that's a square'. Shoelace tying is something you have to think about & do!


Ezi lace ups™ are designed to take an overwhelming task & break it down so that shoelace tying is made easy, fun, engaging & achievable Kids can see the 3 colours on the shoelace, pick it up & thread it onto a shoe using the colour guide. Then they can see which bits of the lace go where, as they are taught & in turn learn. So in effect they can 'see' the process, or see the idea in motion- get their head or mind around something that's not an 'object', as if it were because of the hands-on learning experience. Ezi lace ups™ takes something that's not tangible & makes it tangible.


Why does it work?

Shoelace tying is an abstract concept being taught to kids who are nearing the end of what psychologist Jean Piaget calls the preoperational stage, (ages 2 to about 7). Kids in this developmental stage “struggle with logic and taking the point of view of other people”.

The next developmental stage Piaget describes is concrete operational, (ages 7 to about 11): Kids “begin to think more logically, but their thinking can also be very rigid. They tend to struggle with abstract and hypothetical concepts”!

Again shoelace tying is an abstract task! So the colours on ezi lace ups™ break things down to a concrete level where kids can see what’s going on & what they have to do!

Do your own research to check this out and if your children are up to learning lace tying, then visit our success stories to see for yourself and purchase this key teaching tool to help bring “success at your fingertips!”

Ezi lace ups™ - Extracting or drawing out learning out from an abstract task!

More reasons why kids can struggle to tie shoe laces:

Shoelace tying involves: Fine motor grip - fingers and thumbs working together with fiddly laces; Sequencing thought- remembering a list of steps in an ordered sequence; Visual Figure ground - being able to see “figure” from the background; Visualisation – the ability to picture in the visual mind what needs to be done; and the ability to Organise all of this and bring it together. That’s a lot!!

Next time you’re teaching someone to tie their shoelaces – just know how much amazing brain/ eye/ hand coordination is going on! It’s a massive task! Patience is needed and along with ezi lace ups™  you’ll be writing and talking about your own success story!!  


Go Figure..... with ezi lace ups™!

Another reason learning lace tying can be difficult is due to 'Visual Figure Ground' - the learner's inability to 'see' or differentiate, the details of a lace in front of the shoe background.

Ezi lace ups™, with patented tricolour & labelling design make it EASY for a learner to distinguish FIGURE ground & 'SEE' 'which bits of the lace go where' when learning lace tying. The result..."SUCCESS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS!"

CREATE your own lace tying success story with ezi lace ups™


Go Figure – seen another way! Visual Figure Ground: what it is & how Ezi Lace Ups™ can help!

If I were to ask you to find ferns among green plants you might find it difficult. First you’d have to know what a fern looked like, then you’d have to spot it among the similar coloured plants.


If I were to ask you to find the red rose among the green plants, you’d spot it faster even if you didn’t know what a rose was, you would look for something different – something that stands out!

If you were to ask your child to find the sauce bottle in the fridge or pantry, find their socks in busy drawer of items, find Wally in ‘Where’s Wally’ as a few examples, they might find that difficult too. Again first they have to know what they’re looking for, then they have to spot it in the clutter. The difficulty may have to do with visual ‘figure Ground’, or difficulty seeing the object that they are looking for from the stuff in the background.

Visual Figure ground difficulties are one thing with an object, but figure ground difficulties while trying to learn shoelace tying, a process, takes it to another level. That’s because you can’t find an ‘object’, there’s no object to look for as explained previously! It's hard enough trying to learn something new, but when you can't 'see' what you're looking for, it makes the learning process tricky & frustrating!

That’s where ezi lace ups™ with their tricolour design, make it easy to see each part of the shoe lace tying process.

So at each stage, it’s always easy to see the step being taught without it becoming lost in the background, even though shoelace tying is a process & not an object! Frustration is replaced with a boost of confidence :)

With the design’s labelling feature, ezi lace ups™ also cater for aspects of colour blindness as well!

In effect Ezi lace ups™ eliminate another difficulty of learning shoelace tying – they solve the visual figure ground issue.


Ezi lace ups™ - Creating the right learning conditions

Ezi lace ups™ are designed to engage each child with colour, curiosity & interest! Great learning conditions. Another reason why they work!

Colour adds a stand out dimension & interest too making it easier to see!

Ezi lace ups™ are designed for stand out colour which children will readily gravitate towards. They will want to have a go at learning shoe lace tying because these laces are unique, colourful, interesting & engaging!


Fine Motor Grip:

When people spoke about a motor skills, I used to wonder what they meant! They certainly weren’t talking about cars!!!

I learned that it relates to muscle movement ability! “Gross motor” is about large muscle movements & “fine motor” is about small muscle movement ability.

Large muscles are for example arms & legs & small muscles include hands, fingers, feet, toes.

What does all this have to do with learning shoe lace tying? A lot! Shoelace tying relies on the fine motor skills of fingers & thumbs gripping or working together in a small space with narrow, cord like laces, to get the job done!


Lace tying can be a fiddly, awkward job for Kids where finger, thumb & hand muscles are still developing.

Most school laces are narrow cordlike laces. They are tricky for little fingers & thumbs to hold, manoeuvre & pull tight.

Put that together with trying to see the which bits of the lace go where using the usual single coloured shoe lace, (visual figure ground – previously discussed) & trying to learn a process which a child’s development may not be ready for, (abstract thinking – also previously discussed) & you’ve got a tough job ahead!


Ezi lace ups™ combine wider, flat shoelaces to their tricolour design to give developing fingers & thumbs more space to grip or hold!

Give kids a break & get hold of ezi lace ups™. Little fingers will love them & ezi lace ups™ will bring success to their fingertips!


Sequencing & Visualisation:

A sequence is a set or series of things that follow each other. With shoelace tying this is remembering the steps in a specific order to get the laces tied & the job done!

It can be harder than you expect when learning a new skill or concept. It relies memory recall to help repeat all the steps in a set order.

A powerful tool to boost & work alongside memory recall is Visualisation. Making a picture in your mind of what you are doing & learning so when memory alone is hard, recalling the picture or pictures can fill in the gaps if the pictures made are strong.


Like joining the dots on a dot-to-dot or doing a puzzle, it helps to have an idea of what the big picture is at the same time as joining the dots or putting the puzzle together.  

This is where visualisation comes into it. A powerful tool to help memory recall & learn.

Having a picture in your mind - the end result, tied shoelace, what you want to achieve - as well as picturing the steps in the learned order that go together to tie the shoelace. Knowing what your end goal or product is & breaking the steps down in your mind to build it up.

Ezi lace ups™ colours with instructions really help to make a picture & visualise the order of steps in shoelace tying strengthening memory recall. This is essential when it comes to transferring the skill onto conventional laces when ready.


I’ve asked children “what helped you to tie your black shoelaces?” The answer is “I can see (or imagine), the picture of the colours from the ezi lace ups™!

Visualisation & Sequencing are built into children’s book Learning Lace Tying: The Dance Of The Coloured Shoe Lace. It is a fun rhyming children’s story demonstrating the use of Ezi lace ups™.

It takes a step by step approach joining the “dots” of shoelace tying…. the big picture –tied shoelaces.

This is sequencing –teaching the steps, how the steps relate to each other & putting them in order of how each step relates to both the last & the next step. Simultaneously visualising to make pictures & help lock in the learning.


Rhyme – An important teaching strategy

Another important teaching strategy shown to help children learn is rhyme. I didn’t fully understand this when I wrote Learning Lace Tying many years ago. I thought it was just a fun way to remember! Now I understand the importance of rhyme as an important tool to help children learn.

So by reading aloud The Dance Of The Coloured Shoe Lace, you are adding & building auditory memory of the rhyme to the visual memory of the sequencing. Memory recall is the winner & shoelace tying is mastered bring ‘success to your fingertips’ & confidence on the agenda!



This is bringing everything together- in an ordered way, for the final outcome!

With shoelace tying as previously discussed, this involves abstract thinking, visual figure ground, fine motor grip, sequencing and visualisation at a time when these skills are all still developing.

No wonder shoelace tying can be difficult or tricky for some.

Bringing this all together is organisation on many levels & requires a teaching tool that will address all of these aspects of learning simultaneously. Ezi lace ups™ does

Introduce students to ezi lace ups™ & children’s book Learning Lace Tying: The Dance Of The Coloured Shoe Lace and watch them master shoe lace tying. These tools help break down learning & built it back up to master shoelace tying!


Ezi lace ups™ making shoe lace tying easy & bringing “success at your fingertips!”

Remember to commend kids for their efforts & persistence. Download our Achievement Certificate because every success deserves to be celebrated!



What's it really all about!

Ezi lace ups™ were originally designed for one of my children as she struggled to learn to tie her shoelaces at age 4 years. The struggle was real & impacted her confidence & emotions. It dampened her spirits & began to have a flow on effect.

One day, (it still sounds like a fairy tale!), I encouraged her to show me how she tied her laces, not to teach but to watch. Instantly I saw that she couldn't see which bits of the lace went where!! Makes sense?!

That's when I had my 'light bulb' moment! And Ezi lace ups™ made their successful debut into our world! Attracted to the lace colours & turning lace tying into fun with a story now published, she mastered lace tying in 2 turns. I found the key to unlock the learning for that specific skill.

The "by-product" was my child's soaring confidence & excitement, joyful emotions & response to her achievement. Sharing her success story with delight!

So what are ezi lace ups really about? Well it's the flip of the above: Ezi lace ups™ are about boosting confidence, instilling joy & excitement through the achievement of learning lace tying!

I'm not in the market to sell shoe laces and books, in & of themselves: Though it sure helps! I'm in the market to see kids confidence boosted & see their eyes shine with delight of their achievement & sharing their success stories!


Thank you to all who have purchased and now share your success stories.

Changing the world one success story at a time!


In other words….

When I think back over everything I’ve shared, perhaps it’s really learning to learn & confidence that we’re teaching & maybe shoe lace tying is the by-product!!


I wish you lots of fun, laughter, personal growth, relationship building & many more successes in life.

Please feel free to share your success stories. I would love to hear from you:! 

Warmest Regards


Samya Engelbrecht


Founder, Designer, Author