Sometimes you come across a product that really doesn't fit the age group it's marketed toward. I usually don't bother with such things, but when Zellers liquidated 2 years ago I went to town buying shoes for Aki. The one certainty in parenthood is that your children will grow, so buying too big of shoes is always safe. The price was good enough that I ignored the laces on these shoes and decided that if he didn't know how to tie his shoes by the time they fit I'd "think of something".
He is now on the verge of fitting into these new shoes and does not know how to tie a bow yet. He's still trying to master a knot, so I'm not going to push him about it. My solution? Elastic. I went to Fabricland and bought some elastic cord to thread his shoes with. This stretches enough to allow him to get the shoes on easily, but relaxes firmly enough to keep the shoes on his feet without being too tight.
Remove the laces from the shoes.
Put Fray Stop or something similar on at least one elastic end. I was a little too heavy handed with mine, so I just rubbed the excess on the second end. This will make it easier to thread the elastic in the eyelets. Wait for it to dry.
Lace those babies up! You can do whatever lacing technique you like best. I think the look of a straight line lacing looks the nicest.
Tie a double knot and douse it with more Fray Stop. Cut off the excess. I like the knot to be nearest the toe of the shoe.
Repeat for other shoe.
Ta-da! Shoes a preschooler can put on himself. This allows Aki to have the independence he needs to dress himself, and we can work on shoe tying later on. I remember learning to tie my shoes when I was in grade 1. We moved every other year when I was a kid, so I associate events with where we lived at the time and it makes it easier to keep a timeline of my childhood.