Kids are often reluctant to keep their shoes on! If you’re a parent or you work with little ones, you’ll certainly understand how much of a daily struggle it can be!
But did you know that letting those little toes get a healthy dose of fresh air or letting your kids go barefoot indoors is actually an important developmental experience for kids?
Yes, encouraging your little ones to get to grips with different textures on their feet through fun and exciting barefoot play can help them to experience sensory benefits that they simply wouldn’t get if they were wearing shoes.
After all, little kids are forever exploring and discovering, meaning they are more likely to come into contact with far more textures and surfaces than older children.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite barefoot play activities that your little ones are sure to love.
Messy play with their feet
Although things can get pretty messy, pretty quickly, messy play with your kids feet really does offer the ultimate sensory experience.
Whether you get out the paint and let them make tracks of their feet on a large sheet of paper, or you encourage them to create artwork twisting and stomping their feet in different coloured paint, there’s lots of ways that you can get your little ones involved.
You can even try creating butterflies with your footprint or other art work! These are wonderful keepsakes.
Sensory play mats
Sensory play mats are a great way to facilitate sensory play whilst optimising development in children, particularly cognitive and motor development.
Boasting combinations of bright colours, unique patterns and functional designs, sensory play mats help kids to explore their senses by enjoying a range of unique activities. It is the exploration of new textures, materials and resources that help kids to begin to make sense of the world. Mats are also designed to promote healthy foot development, prevent and correct foot disorders as well as stimulate and develop fine motor skills.
Who doesn’t like to feel the sand between their toes? And, little ones especially love playing in the sand. Whether you head to the beach or use a sand pit in your garden (they are pretty easy to get a hold of) making footprints in the sand is a sensory barefoot activity that all kids love!
Running, jumping and twisting in the sand is also super fun!
Jump in muddy puddles
Although this might not be idea during the colder months, jumping in muddy puddles barefoot is a fun and exciting activity that your kids can enjoy during the warmer months, especially if the good old British weather has anything to do with it.
Kids love getting dirty and the texture beneath their feet is a great way to facilitate sensory play.
Walking on bubble wrap
Popping bubble wrap is many adult’s guilty pleasure – we’ve all been there, right?
But letting your little ones (under supervision) walk along the bubble wrap as it pops is another example of sensory play that your little ones are sure to love.