Today we visited a conservation park, we saw zebras, Okapi, Eland, Lemurs and Cassowarys. In a huge meadow perfect for picnicking, playing, running and jumping there stands a tower and in its shadow child 2 and 3 had a go at archery, a perfect place for both of them to pretend to be mini Robin Hoods.
The best bit was the Barefoot Trail, we had to remove shoes and socks (obviously) and then walked over wooden poles, through pebbles, tyres filled with chopped rubber, sawdust, sand, hay and grass and a pool full of what smelt like zebra poo and finally sea glass. The kids loved it and went round the course so many times that I lost count. This type of activity is fantastic for all children but adopted children who potentially could suffer from a sensory disorder it's like magic. Some children who have spent time within the care system or with birth parents who do not know how to provide for them will have missed out on some really important sensory learning behaviours. They may not have been cuddled, sung too or played with. A child left in his/her cot or in front of the television all day will have missed out on so much.
Interestingly, a number of mums today could be heard telling their children to keep their shoes/wellies on as they might hurt themselves, child 1 commented that how sad it was that some of the children visiting today couldn't just enjoy themselves, explore and get dirty. I am sure that you know how I feel about grubby children and barefoot grubby children are the best. I have to say that I like being barefoot except when its cold. In fact I will always be one of the first to kick off her red glittery heels and dance barefoot at a party!
When was the last time you took off your shoes and walked barefoot, feeling the ground beneath your feet or splashed barefoot in a puddle of water? Give it a go, take off your shoes explore the world with nothing between you and the earth, feel that connection, be free, get your feet dirty and enjoy the feeling of the earth beneath your feet. Walking barefoot transports me back to my childhood, there is something nostalgic and exhilarating about feeling the world through the sensations under foot. Something all children should experience.