Walking barefoot outside is a wonderful way for children to use their sense of touch to experience their bodies and surroundings. Plus, going barefoot or “earthing” provides several scientifically researched benefits, including better sleep, reduced inflammation and increased antioxidants thanks to the way our bodies interact with the earth’s electrons.
For this activity, take off your shoes and go outside for a walk, preferably on grass, soil or sand.
Stand Barefoot with Full Body Breath
Stand barefoot on the ground in Mountain Pose. Firmly plant your feet into the ground, a foot’s distance apart, arms slightly out from your sides, palms facing forward. Take a deep breath in, feeling the breath rise up your feet all the way to your head. Slowly breathe out, releasing the breath through your mouth. Repeat the full body breath 3 times. Have everyone describe the different sensations, temperatures and textures they’re experiencing through their feet.
Float Like a Butterfly, Buzz Like a Bee
Warm up for your walk by moving like different animals and insects. Let the kids choose what they’d like to be, then follow their movements and sounds.
Make Monkey Feet
Place your feet firmly on the ground, toes lifted. Now try placing each toe down slowly and separately starting with the pinkie. Is it easier to do on one foot versus the other? Trying gripping the ground with your toes. What does it feel like?
Take a Hike
Begin walking purposely. Use every surface of your foot, including your heel, instep, sole, ball of the foot and each toe. Roll through each step, feeling the earth beneath you. Notice any shifts in energy.
Share the Experience
What did it feel like going barefoot? Ask kids to describe the sensations they experienced through their feet: prickly or soft? Cool or warm? Have fun comparing each other’s experiences!