Tying shoes requires very specific fine motor skills, and I know kids aren't ready to learn until they can maneuver their fingers properly. I tried teaching Jackson a couple of years ago, and he was definitely NOT ready! I've been buying him the shoes with elastic laces and one strap of velcro, but they are becoming more difficult to find. The lady at Stride Rite said they really are just laces starting at size 1. Since it was time for a new pair of gym shoes, I thought we'd buy laces, and give tying another chance. Jackson was totally ready and SO proud of himself!!! It also worked to our advantage that he and I both had a ton of patience and were in the mood to learn/teach...;)
After soliciting some advice from friends and doing a little research on the internet, I tried this method first: we tied a jump rope around Jackson's legs and practiced with those nice big "laces."
Once he had that down, we tried on his actual shoes. This is still a bit tricky as the laces pull all the way through some of the time, but we're still practicing!