Aug. 17 is National I LOVE My Feet Day. Who knew? Now that you do, go outside and experience the world through your feet!
Walk around barefoot
Usually, our feet are in shoes all day. That is good for avoiding sharp glass or rough rocks. But we are missing out on new sensations when we keep our feet covered.
Find a spot that is safe. Double check to make sure there is nothing that will hurt bare skin. Then take your shoes off! What does it feel like? Close your eyes and take in the world through your feet. Stand still, then walk. Run or skip if you have the room.
Words to know
Sensation: A feeling from something that happens to or comes into contact with the body.
Stroll: Walking in a leisurely way.
Explore different feelings under your feet. Walk on grass. Stroll along a sandy beach. Wade in a shallow stream. Find a carpet of moss. Move over a bed of stones. Squish mud between your toes. Which do you like best?
Dress up your feet in nature
While your shoes are off, you might as well dress them up! Use things you find in nature to decorate your feet. Create patterns across your arches with mud. Find some berries to stain your nails a new color. Create an ankle bracelet out of seaweed or flowers. Cap off your toes with acorn tops. Have fun with your imagination!
Find animal feet
Lots of animals have feet. Go out and explore, keeping your eyes open for creatures. What do their feet look like? Are they like yours? Let’s take a closer look at some animal feet:
Talons: Birds of prey have special feet with claws at the end. All the better to grip dinner.
Hooves: Deer, bison and goats all have hooves. They are made from the same material as horns or our fingernails. This material is called keratin.
Webbed feet: Ducks and beavers have webbed feet. That extra skin between the toes acts like flippers and helps these water lovers swim.
Paws: Usually furry and egg shaped, paws have soft pads on the bottom. Sometimes they have claws, too. Paw bearers include cats, dogs, raccoons, bears, weasels, mice, foxes and coyotes.
You can search for animal feet a couple different ways:
Option 1: Simply pay attention to all the animal feet you find. Keep track with a list, draw pictures or take photos. Maybe the goal is to see the most. Or perhaps you just want to see the biggest variety.
Option 2: Create your own scavenger hunt of different feet in your area. Include a couple different types of birds, a small mammal or two and don’t forget our insect friends.
Follow the tracks
Even if you don’t see animals, it doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Track animal feet by, well, their tracks! You can see animal prints in soft soil, mud or sand. How many tracks can you find? Use books or online resources to ID them. Then make your own tracks with your shoes on and off to compare.
Whatever you do on I LOVE My Feet Day, don’t forget to appreciate your wonderful feet. No matter how they look (or smell!), they get you around and let you play and enjoy our natural world.
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