Classroom Activity
Learning With Our Shoes
Children will learn that there's more "underfoot" than they expected with this creative shoe activity.

AGES 3–4


  • chart paper
  • markers and crayons
  • tempera paint and brushes
  • brown butcher paper
  • camera

Objective: Children will use shoes to engage in a variety of activities that will encourage the development of observation, math, language, literacy, and problem solving skills.

In Advance: Explain to children that they will engage in a variety of activities to learn about shoes. Begin the activity by asking children to describe what they already know about shoes. Record their responses on chart paper.


Working Shoes
Collect a variety of pictures from magazines and books depicting the different types of shoes people wear to do specific jobs, such as dancers, firefighters, runners, nurses, and construction workers. Show children the pictures and encourage them to identify who would wear them. Invite children to glue the pictures onto chart paper. Include a description about each type of shoe beside the pictures. Ask children to describe the special shoes that they might have and what they are used for.

Studying Our Shoes
Invite children to sit in a circle on the floor. Ask them to take off one of their shoes and place it in the middle of the circle. Encourage children to notice how their shoes are different and how they are similar. Invite a few children at a time to sort the shoes into groups. Encourage children to talk about their choices. Record their observations on chart paper.

End-of-the Year Foot Mural
Set up an area outdoors to do this fun activity. Tape a large sheet of brown paper onto the ground. Fill a few containers with washable tempera paints. Invite several children at a time to paint their own feet or a friend's feet and then to walk across the paper. They can dip their feet into a basin of water to wash of the paint when finished. Encourage each child to use a different color on his feet to distinguish them from other children's feet. This mural will make a wonderful "good-bye gift" from the children to the school. If children return to the room, they can see how their feet have grown based on their footprints on the mural.

Curriculum Connection

Math: Graphing Shoes. Create a bar graph listing different characteristics of shoes across the top of a sheet of chart paper (laces, buckles, slip on, Velcro, and so on). Separate the list into separate columns. Tell children that they will record how many children are wearing the types of shoes listed. Provide each child with a sticker. Invite children to place their sticker in the appropriate column. Ask children to count the number of stickers in each column and include the total number for each category. Encourage them to summarize what they learned from the information on the graph.

The Soles of Your Feet
by Genichiro Yagyu
(Kane/Miller Book Publishers 19xx $11.95)

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes*
by Anne Schreiber
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.50)

Whose Shoe Vol. 1
by Margaret Miller
(Greenwillow, 1991; $16)