The Growth and Giggles Blog
Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.
Textures for your Toes
So often we think to let children feel textures with their hands, but we seldom think to let their feet experience new textures. Feeling textures with the feet is great for toddlers and preschool aged children. It stimulates the nerve endings in their feet as well as working on balance. And it is fun.
How Do We Play?
- Place several textures in a row on the floor. Examples: Soft spongy foam from packing or bubble wrap. The large bubbles make a loud bang when popped, so avoid those for toddlers and young pre-school aged children. It can frighten them and ruins the experience. You also could use a mesh bag that oranges come in, a terry cloth towel, clear cellophane that makes crinkly sounds when stepped on, fuzzy fabrics like velvet and fake fur, the bottom of a Styrofoam egg carton, or clean meat trays.
- Tape them down to avoid slips and falls.
- Have all ages walk barefooted on the textures. Some will walk on them over and over. Some will try it once. Some may be frightened. Don’t force it.
- If the child doesn’t like it at first, encourage them to feel the items with their hands. If possible, help them walk on at least one texture to see that it feels good. Introduce this experience again after about a week. They may love it. After an introduction to it, the second time seems more familiar.
- Don’t use unpleasant textures. Sand paper and hot coals are not favorites. Remember, we want to build trust as well as balance. Experiment with different textures. You try walking on it barefoot, too. If the child sees you do it, he or she will know it is safe. It’s fun. And it gives you a foot massage (which some people pay big bucks for).