- Invite your students to take off their shoes and go outside for a walk in the grass, soil, or sand. [Note: If you don’t have a safe outdoor space for walking, remain indoors, or try a shoes-on version of this practice.]
- Tell your students: Walking [barefoot] outside is a wonderful way to use your sense of touch and to experience your body and your surroundings. Let’s try different kinds of mindful movement together and notice what we see and feel.
Lead your students through each of the activities below, concluding with the barefoot walk (“Take a hike”).
Stand Barefoot with Full Body Breath
Stand barefoot on the ground in Mountain Pose. Firmly plant your feet into the ground, a foot’s distance apart, arms slightly out from your sides, palms facing forward. Take a deep breath in, feeling the breath rise up your feet all the way to your head. Slowly breathe out, releasing the breath through your mouth. [Repeat the full body breath 3 times.]Can you describe the sensations, temperatures, and textures you feel through your feet?
Float Like a Butterfly, Buzz Like a Bee
Let’s warm up for our walk by moving like different animals and insects. [Let the kids choose what they’d like to be, then follow their movements and sounds.]
Make Monkey Feet
Place your feet firmly on the ground, toes lifted. Now try placing each toe down slowly and separately starting with the pinkie. Is it easier to do on one foot versus the other? Try gripping the ground with your toes. What does it feel like?
Take a Hike
Begin walking purposely. Use every surface of your foot, including your heel, instep, sole, ball of the foot, and each toe. Roll through each step, feeling the earth beneath your foot. Notice any shifts in energy.
Ask students: What is it like to notice your feet on the ground? How did it feel? What did you observe in your body as you slowed down each step?
Mindful Littles Barefoot Walking Activity. Mindful Littles is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to sparking compassionate action in youth and in communities through engaging service learning experiences and mindful well-being programs that foster resiliency, prosocial behavior, and improved mental health.