Arkie Education

Introducing the benefits of barefoot play for children at Arkie Wahroonga

Children Benefit from Being Barefoot

There are benefits to being barefoot at a young age, as this is the time young feet are growing and developing. When children are born, their feet contain more cartilage than actual bone. Without constraints of shoes, children’s feet can develop normally strengthening the arches and preventing flat feet. Their gait patterns, balance and tolerance of touch in the feet benefit which goes towards developing fluid bodily movement.

Going barefoot also strengthens ankles and makes children’s bodies more agile and less injury prone. This is due to the fact that children learn to pay more attention to their surroundings and develop their proprioceptive sense; i.e., they know what their feet are doing without looking at them.

Being barefoot allows children to feel the ground beneath them and offers sensory stimulation as they walk over different surfaces such as grass, bark, rocks and sand. Whilst we promote the benefits of children playing barefoot, our Arkie educators are always mindful of the weather conditions and children are monitored at all times for their level of comfort and dressed accordingly.

Feelings are for the soul what food is for the body

Biophilia - Connecting to Nature

The term Biophilia is derived from the Greek words for “life” and “love or affection;” making its literal translation “love of life”.  It refers to the concept that human beings crave the connection to nature and all living things.

The benefits of connecting with nature are many; from supporting cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being.  Outdoor activities and exploring the natural world have been proven to have positive impacts on young children’s development, health, and wellbeing. By providing children with a nature-based outdoor environment, we set in place the roots of curious and creative thinking.

In connecting our curriculum to nature, we hope that children will grow to have a love and respect for the natural environment.  As Sir David Attenborough said, “no one will protect what they don’t care about and no one will care about what they have never experienced”.  We hope Arkie children will be the environmental stewards of tomorrow.