Kids Play with Anything #22: Child’s Play with Socks

If anything proves how kids can play without toys, it’s play with socks. Don’t despair if some disappear in the wash. Instead, just let kids play.

play with socksSocks and feet seem to have a love-hate relationship. Babies work hard to take them off and young kids often prefer going barefoot. The wash isn’t the only thing that loses socks, so do kids. Send them on a play-date or sleep-over and they are likely to come home without socks. But there are lots of ways to play with socks.

One game that kids invent all by themselves because no adult still does it, well hardly ever, is The Sock Slide. Back and forth across a floor that is not covered by carpet, kids will run and slide. They have discovered a way to keep moving when the body is held still. Not only that, they are figuring out how to keep their balance when moving at speed. Experience teaches kids to get prepared for places that are not as slippery in case there’s a sudden stop. Play is very purposeful so this counts as play.

physical activity for kidsAnother game is the sock snowball. Roll socks into a ball, find a space where there’s nothing to get knocked over, like a hallway. Kids can throw sock snowballs and improve their aim.

With some fun music, kids can dance around in their socks. Some adults might remember this is called a sock hop.

play with socksSock puppets have been a play standard since long before recycling, upcycling, and life hacks. They can be made by putting a sock on the hand instead of the foot. There are two ways to make a mouth, either by tucking the toe of the sock between the thumb and fingers to make a mouth or just using the fingers in the toe part and the thumb in the heel. Socks can be given ‘personalities’ with the addition of buttons, fabric bits, yarn, ribbons, and whatever else is in the scrap bag or craft box. Now this sock can talk, and kids can play with their sock puppet. They choose the words and the voice. The conversation and the action, like play, come from within the child.

Are there any socks at your house that can come out and play?