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7 Ways to Get Barefoot in Nature Today!

May 20, 2024

Young children love to be free and take off their clothes. Yet we can be so quick to cover them up, especially their feet! Children in the UK are often given shoes even before they can walk. 

Being barefoot is so beneficial and we feel so much of the world through our feet. A study in the journal 'Frontiers in Pediatrics' has shown that children who spend most of their time barefoot have increased motor skills and are better in jumping and balancing. 

Many teachers and forest school leaders here in the U.K share their experiences of children lacking in co-ordination and balance when moving around the uneven forest floor. 

When we spend time indoors we are greatly limiting the types of surfaces children learn to walk on and get used to moving around on. These are normally smooth and firm with no roughness or bumps.

When we take our shoes and socks off outdoors we are also connecting our bodies directly to nature which benefits our wellbeing too. Helping our mental health and bringing us some calmness too. This practice known as 'Grounding' or 'Earthing' is based on the idea that being in direct contact with the earth's surface allows for a transfer of free electrons from the ground into the body. 

There are so many more benefits to being barefoot as often as we can and these are shared in our Rewilding Wanderlust Programme. 

To get you started on your barefoot journey why not try some of these simple ways to reconnect with nature through your feet.

1. Clamber up the sand dunes and feel the warm sand on the bottom of your feet. 

2. Dance on the soft grass of a manicured lawn

3. Have a barefoot picnic

4. Balance on a log barefoot

5. Squelch mud under your feet

6. Create a sensory walk in trays with crunchy leaves, mud, water, sand

7. Paddle in the sea or a local stream - or create a sensory tray filled with water and bubble to paddle and splash in

For weekly ideas on nature play check out my Rewilding Nature Play Programme here. 

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