Smelly Feet and Somatosensory Games: Taking Care of Our Feet While Having Fun

Our feet do a lot for us – they carry us around all day, support our weight, and allow us to walk, run, jump and play. But with all that work, it’s no wonder our feet can start to smell bad or develop issues! Smelly or problematic feet are common, especially if we wear shoes and socks all day. Luckily, there are some fun “somatosensory” games and activities we can do to take better care of our feet.

Somatosensory refers to our sense of touch, pressure, temperature, pain and body position. Engaging in somatosensory games and exercises can help strengthen our feet, improve circulation, and give us more awareness of how our feet feel. This greater connection and care for our feet can then help reduce foot odor issues.

One easy somatosensory game is to spread out a towel on the floor and gather various small objects with different textures – try pebbles, marbles, golf balls, sticks, cotton balls, etc. Sitting down, close your eyes and pick up each object with your toes one at a time. Can you identify what each object is just by how it feels against your feet? This helps flex your feet and toes and makes you more tuned into the sensations in your feet.

You can also try scrunching up pieces of paper or cloth with your toes, or picking up pencils or coins off the floor without using your hands. Trace letters or shapes on the floor with your big toe. See how many small objects you can hold between your feet at once! These are fun challenges that get our feet moving and working.

Rolling a tennis ball back and forth under the soles of your feet is another great somatosensory exercise to stretch and massage your feet. You can also use a frozen water bottle instead of a tennis ball to cool and wake up tired feet.

Soaking feet helps soften calluses and clean away bacteria that causes odors. Make a fun foot bath by adding a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil, which have natural antibacterial properties. Soak feet for 10-15 minutes while also rubbing away rough patches with a pumice stone. Use a foot scrub on feet a few times a week in the shower for exfoliation as well.

Lastly, airing out feet helps prevent that stubborn foot smell. Kick off your shoes and socks and let your feet breathe whenever possible. At home especially, try going barefoot and doing somatosensory exercises like tracing letters with your toes. Healthy, active feet are happy feet. So take good care of your hardworking feet, and have fun engaging them more with some somatosensory games!