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Tying shoes a little differently

Over the summer Jordan had figured out how to tie her shoes under the guidance of some really wonderful friends at Camp No Limits. The challenge for me was taking those skills and extending it into the real world. Jordan didn’t really own shoes with laces when we got home from camp and I didn’t really focus on it too much since I was really just thinking about surviving the summer and getting her into Kindergarten without drama.

Now that things are going pretty well at school, Jordan’s occupational therapist has been looking for ways to help Jordan learn how to really figure out the shoe tying skill. I tried to work on the standard one-handed shoe tying process with Jordan but she wouldn’t work on it with me. She worked on it a little bit with her occupational therapist but Jordan would get aggravated. So our OT came up with a new idea. She modified how you use shoe laces… and she had a chance to show me how this past Friday. Once I learned the basics, I thought I’d replicate it with a pair of shoes that Jordan would beg to tie: Twinkle Toes.

I bought her a pair on Sunday and set up the shoes in a way for her to tie on her own. Here’s how it’s set up:

I shortened the laces and knotted two different colors at the bottom of the shoe eyelets.

I created loops by knotting the lace to the top eyelet.

Jordan took the loops and used her helper arm to hold on to the lace.

She pulled tight on the laces.

[Update: My friend Di reminded me the trick to keeping the shoe laces tight are by tying the lace around one more time before you double tie the loops. When Jordan gets better at shoe lace tying, I’ll try to get video of her accomplishing this!]

When she was done, Jordan double tied the laces on both shoes.

Jordan proudly wore her shoes to school… But I learned that one day of new shoe laced shoes is probably not enough practice to bring those shoes to school. Jordan didn’t tie them tight enough and the shoes are probably a little too big. She had some trouble wearing the shoes at school. I think we’ll work a little more at the tying before she brings them back… If I can convince her to wait. She’s pretty proud of these sparkly shoes.

I’m sure Jordan will figure out the regular form of shoe tying eventually… but we’re going to give this version a try for now!

Did you know we’re holding a fundraiser for Jordan’s birthday? Read more about it here or check out her birthday fundraiser page. Thanks so much for considering a donation for the No Limits Limb Loss Foundation so two kids can attend Camp No Limits


  1. Diane Davis on November 15, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Awesome, Jordan. I love your shoes. If you loop the first knot one more time, it will cinch down tight and not release so that when you go to make the bows it will stay and so the only thing you have to do is make the bows.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Jen Lee Reeves on November 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

      Thanks Di. I had forgotten about that step. Of course that would have helped.

  2. Courtney Maslow on November 15, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Great job!
    I am a mom who invented a shoe tying aid
    Loopeez attach to laces and hold the “loops” in place acting as an extra hand. With Loopeez one handed tying is a breeze:)
    Plus they are super cute! I’d love to send her a pair.

  3. Lisa on November 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Very clever idea to make those loops!!! I LOVE this! She’ll be tying all by herself before we know it. Funny side note–Sophie saw and fell in love with these same shoes at Gordmans. They not only sparkle, but light up too, right? They were way too big for her but she was stomping around in them for quite awhile. They are definitely a perfect pick for our ‘girly-girls’! Way to go, Mom! Hugs to you all!

  4. John McNail on November 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I love reading about Jordan’s adventures. Keep up the amazing work Jen!

  5. lj on November 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Wow, what a smart, talented girl! Thanks for sharing your skills. Keep up the super work and you are sure to go far in life!!

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