Little girl lying on the bed with her legs up in the air with smile yellow face drawn on her feet

5 Healthy Activities for Kids’ Feet

Every kid spends a lot of their time in their shoes, whether wearing sneakers or some more occasional footwear. However, parents can change that. Here are some healthy activities for kids’ feet that will help them be creative, get messy, and of course, let those little piggies out in the air.

You might just be able to get a kid’s attention and pique their interest by playing barefoot activities, especially if you’re trying to encourage them to tolerate different textures on their feet.

Let’s see what those activities are, how can we realize them, and what are they good for. Stay tuned!


The Benefit of Being Barefooted 

The benefits of going barefoot for kids are numerous; there are also barefoot shoes for kids that can help kiddos with their experience. Let’s take a look at some of them.



Barefoot play benefits the senses

Playing without shoes or socks allows kids to experience tactile sensations that they cannot experience with footwear or even socks.

The feet are often overlooked part of the body when it comes to input through touch. This is because kids wear shoes most of the time. It is possible to increase kids’ tolerance for a range of tactile sensory experiences by exposing their feet to various textures and surfaces.


Barefoot walking benefits balance

Thanks to tactile systems, the kid receives all these messages about the surfaces they are walking on. On the other hand, a vestibular system helps little ones balance when walking and standing. 


When kids walk, little receptors in their bodies allow them to shift their weight from one foot to another. This way, kids can maneuver on varying surfaces with balance and without them tripping over.


Barefooting’s orthopedic benefits

Without shoe restriction, the kid can move their toes more freely, which helps develop foot strength and foot arches

Toes have a function to grip surfaces in order to increase sensory input for balance.


The effects of barefoot walking on body awareness

Variations in touch can increase a kid’s awareness of their body parts. Thus, when your little one stands on different surfaces, the kid is much more aware of their foot placement compared to the rest of his/her body.  

This is called proprioception, as we mentioned above. It represents a crucial part of sensory integration in coordination with vestibular input in order to maintain optimal balance and awareness of the body.


The American Pediatric Medical Association recommends that your kids be barefoot as much as possible. Thus, do it every time you see a chance for them to walk, run, or explore the world around them barefooted. 

By doing so, your kiddos will naturally develop and strengthen their feet, and that’s all thanks to:

  • Walking, crawling, or standing on different surfaces 
  • Exploring the world on the grass
  • Walking and running on beach pebbles and sand
  • Picking up items and toys from the carpet with toes
  • Rough terrain climbing
  • Playing in the yard, in the rain, in the puddle, or in mud 

These are a few situations where you can let your kid play without socks or different types of footwear. Whichever you do, ensuring kids’ safety is always in the first place. Exploring different grounds does not mean that your little one needs to be exposed to danger, like sharp objects, glass, metal items, or similar. 


5 Healthy Activities for Kids’ Feet

Let’s skip to the practical part. We’ve established that allowing your kid to feel different surfaces with their bare feet is very beneficial, and now we will see how we can accomplish that. There are some fun activities that both kids and parents can enjoy playing. Let’s check those activities for kids’ feet!


  • Sensory pathway 

Since you are a parent yourself, you have probably heard or even experienced walking on Legos. That is not something we want to provide our kids, but we can make up something much more fun, painless, and interesting.

The game is called a sensory walk, and it is very simple. You do not need to spend money to buy the game; you do not need a lot of space or special equipment. 

It requires everyday items available at home, such as newspapers, bubble wrap, some pillows, paint, and cooked spaghetti. 

Place all of the items on the floor and let your kid walk on it barefooted. You can also create a sensory pathway with tactile materials that stimulate kids’ feet, improving their motor skills as well as concentration. 

You can also create a kid’s grid path by using some beads, straws, rocks, and grass.


  • Underwater pearl activities for kids’ feet

For this game, you will need a small pool or even a bigger bathtub, marbles, and a bucket. For this game forget about bathing sandals or swimming socks, because kids’ feet will be just fine! The first thing you need to do is feel the pool or a tub with water, but only a few inches. Take the marbles and spread them on the bottom of the pool/tub. 

Place your kid onto the chair or a stool outside the pool/tub but let their feet go in. And now comes the fun part! Tell your kid a story that marbles are actually pearls on the bottom of the sea, and they need to collect them as much as they can by only using their toes! 

After some practice, you can spice things up a little bit. Take a bucket and tell your kids they need to place the pearls inside it!


  • Step-a-Logs 

This game is a little different from the previous one and includes a purchase. It will cost you a couple of bucks, but it will help your kid improve their balance and proper movement. Luckily, step-a-logs are available almost in every kid’s store, including Amazon. 

Usually, these little impediments that kid needs to walk on are free from PVC, BPA, and phthalates which is always a plus. Place these block sets onto your floor and let them overcome these obstacles and have fun. 

Kids can play this game barefoot, and you can place the blocks further or closer, depending on the child’s skills. If you want to make this game a little more complex, you can place cushions, blankets, or chairs between the blocks.


  • Feet drawing activities for kids’ feet

This game is totally up to you and your kid’s imagination and one of our favorite activities for kids’ feet. To realize this game, you will need a piece of paper or a bigger piece of cloth and some markers, crayons, or watercolors. Place the paper or cloth onto the ground or even up the wall, and let your kid doodle, scrabble, and draw with their feet and toes. 

You can give them a task, like a certain thing to draw, an animal, an object, or anything that crosses your mind. 

This kind of game can really be useful for kids in many ways. They can encourage sensory and color exploration, induce creativity and imagination, provide better motor development, and make your kids express their artistic side.


  • Wet sand play 

The wet sand play game is very easy to realize. It does not require some special equipment or buying the game in the store. All you need is:

  • Some sand
  • Can or a bucket
  • Water
  • And toys for sand if you want

This game is great if you have a backyard with a sandbox or even better if you live on the beach. Put some water in a bucket and take it to the sandpit or if you are on the beach, you can even fill up a can with seawater. Spill some water on the sand, and thus, you will create wet sand. Kid’s can walk and run in the sand, which is not only good for their feet development but great for encouraging kids motor skills and creativity. Wet sand is great for molding into different shapes and creating different patterns.


In Conclusion About Activities for Kids’ Feet

Allowing your kid to explore the world around it, including different surfaces with their bare feet, can be beneficial for many things. They will improve their senses, improve their balance, and support proper orthopedic development

By being simple yet creative with things available in your house, you can encourage your kid’s motor skills, healthy foot development, balance, and of course, creativity and imagination. 



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.