The advantages of going barefoot

Climbing trees barefoot

As a child I seldom wore shoes in summer. I’d put them back on in autumn and discover they no longer fit. My friends and I were tree climbers and we’d never climb trees with shoes on; you have much better control and grip with bare feet. I had the occasional nettle sting or stubbed toe, but that’s life.

Some nursery practitioners think parents would never allow their children to be barefoot in nursery. Yet I know a good nursery school in London where staff are confident explaining why they allow children to remove their shoes. They explain how barefoot children have a richer sensory experience. Without shoes children can feel differences between surfaces, splash in water and squish mud between their toes.

Everyone knows babies like to grab and play with their toes and use their feet to feel, explore and brace against the sides of their cot or pram. Recently I watched a baby stroke the sides of a Dream Coracle with bare feet while going to sleep. Children learn a great deal through their feet as well as their hands.

You couldn't find a better time than right now to give it a try and go barefoot!

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