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Do Your Children Go Barefoot?

Posted by: Rhonda June 17, 2014

As if pulled by a magnetic force, the kids swarmed around the fresh pile of dirt that had been deposited near our urban garden. With squeals of spontaneous delight, shoes and socks were flung off as liberated toes explored the warm, soft earth.

My first reaction was panic. What would the parents say if they found out? Aren’t there health and safety regulations that require footwear at all times—or is that just a myth that needs to be dispelled?

Then I thought back to my barefooted childhood where shoes were a cumbersome nuisance worn only when necessary. It seems that young children must have an instinctive understanding that shoes are an unnatural interference to play and learning!

By wearing shoes, children are missing out on a wide array of sensory experiences.  The feeling of sand between the toes, green grass under foot, or the rough bark of a tree cannot be replicated.  We often hear that children learn best through their hands, so why not their feet? And what better way to investigate a pile of dirt than with bare toes?

Do your children go barefoot? Or do you wish that they could? Join the discussion on our Facebook page.