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Tying with two colors

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Tying shoes is challenging for many kids, and there can be many diferent reasons why the tying is so hard. One of the quickest ways to help with tying shoes is to have two-colored laces. Why does it help to have two different colors on your laces? It provides a stronger visual difference between the two sides of the lace , which makes it easier to figure out where each lace should go while tying.

An OT friend of mine, Karen Dobyns, wrote an awesome children’s book called The Centipede Who Couldn’t Tie his Shoes. The book is about a centipede with 100 shoes to tie, and he needs to learn how to tie with help from 2-color laces. He also uses adapted no-tie laces on some of his shoes because no one wants to tie 100 shoelaces.


The book is super cute and sneaks in tips for tying shoes along with dealing with peers in a nice and cute story.

I love two-color laces, and you can find them on Amazon (affiliate link). You could also make your own. According to Karen, the easiest (and least messy way) is to use permanent sharpie colored markers to color the laces.

Jelly Fish tied on tentacles

I made a little felt jelly fish with two colors of tentacles to tie on. I first hot glued the two colors of felt together, and then I cut it into 1 inch wide strips so that the strips are quite long with a different color at each end. Then I cut out a large circle of felt and glued two black eyes onto it. I have 8 strips of felt for tentacles, so I punched holes around the edges with 2 holes close together (1/4 inch apart) at even spaces all around the circle.


To make the jelly fish, I threaded one end of a tentacle through one of the close holes and the other end of the same tentacle down through a far away hole. Then I tied them together in a knot underneath the jelly fish. This pulled the felt together at the tied point. I repeated this process all the way around the jelly fish until all of the tentacles were done and hanging under him. It is a pretty cute jelly fish, although once you get a few tentacles on, it can be confusing to figure out what part you are tying. You could make this project using a paper bowl and ribbons, or using fun foam pieces with ribbon or felt tentacles.

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  1. Hi Tonya!!! Thanks for posting about my book!!!! :D And that jellyfish is ADORABLE.

    To clarify, Sharpies are pretty easy, but if a kid is doing it, it can still get messy and Sharpies aren’t super easy to rinse off skin as we know. It seems that even regular crayons in bold colors can actually work, although if the laces are waxed all bets are off. All-cotton shoelaces work best but those require ordering as most kid shoes are a combination of other materials. Have an adult iron the colored-on or Sharpied shoelaces to help the color stick, BUT do it by covering them first in a towel you don’t care about, so that you don’t ruin your iron…and wash cautiously until you’re sure you’ve figured it out.

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