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"Not only does going barefoot feel great, it also nourishes, strengthens, and promotes agility in a child’s growing feet, ankles, legs, knees, and hips—benefits that children are going without in today’s over-shod society,” explains an article on the Education.com website.
“In fact, podiatrists say that bare feet should be a vital component of a child’s everyday life, in all seasons. The bare foot functions almost like a sense organ, feeling subtleties of changing terrain while walking and playing, and making countless small adjustments in how each step is taken. These adjustments actually help each of us form our balance, movement systems, and posture for life.”
In the book, Growing with Nature, Chris Kiewra and Tina Reeble include a section on how connections with nature build body competence in children. “One outcome of children’s disconnection from nature is a lack of sensory stimulation,” they write. “Increased time in sterile indoor environments, use of manufactured plastic toys, and earlier and prolonged use of electronics all decrease opportunities for children to use all their senses. This is especially concerning since the window of opportunity to best develop the senses of sight, touch, and hearing is during the preschool years.”
Want an opportunity to learn more about supporting children’s connections with nature? The early bird rate for the Nature Explore/Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute in July is expiring soon. Find information here: https://natureexplore.org/workshops/institute/
Source: “Why Barefoot is Best,” August 22, 2014, education.com
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