So often I hear « Where are their shoes? » or « where did they put their socks? » And yes, it does feel like a hassle to have to look for them over, and over, and over, and over….
BUT there is so much going on in the simple act of taking their shoes off and putting them back on when they want to! Learning, socializing, problem solving, etc. And even learning responsibility, as we remind them to put the shoes away in their cubbies.
Look at these children, independently putting on their socks and shoes. They are learning to take care of themselves and are practicing their fine motor skills. They are also problem- solving and working their brains, because getting socks and shoes on and off are no easy tasks for the toddlers!
These children are helping their friends. Such a kind, sweet, and empathetic act. Nobody told them to help, they just did it because they cared, and because they remembered the people around them offering help when they struggled.
This child in the next photo left her shoes in mine when she went home for the day. The shoes in this photo could easily be overlooked as a mess. Someone could have told the child to « put her shoes away properly! » But nobody told her that, they let her do what she felt she had to, and when I walked in the next morning and saw this, it instantly made my day. I knew it was a child’s love being expressed in her own language.
And sometimes, taking off their shoes gives the children another way to experiment and connect with the world around them.