Easy and Cheap Rock Mat - Foot Massage/Acupressure

Introduction: Easy and Cheap Rock Mat - Foot Massage/Acupressure

If your kids are anything like mine, they love to be outside and they love rocks. Chances are they've also lost track of all of their shoes because who needs shoes when you have feet? But when cold weather comes around, those poor feet are stuck on boring flat surfaces of the inside of your home. Your feet want to move and bend on all sorts of surfaces. There are a couple of cheap and easy way to bring this textured environment into your home. The easiest way, that I strongly do not recommend, is Legos. Any parent can tell you this is not a pleasant way to move about your house. The less painful way is to make your family their very own rock mats. A rock mat is just that - a mat made of rocks that you can place anywhere in your home and instantly give your feet a pleasant wake up call. You can spend a small fortune or various types of rock mats or you can make your own for about $10 or less. Best of all, depending on the type of rocks you use, you can make this mat as smooth or intense as you want. As your feet get stronger you can quickly adapt your mat to meet your needs as well. I can't tell you how long my kids and I have stood around on rock mats while doing puzzles, playing games, or crafting because it's so much more interesting then a boring chair. Plus, in case you haven't heard, chairs are evil now and you should not be sitting in them at all. So let's get you started on your path to foot health and strength.


  • Boot mat - any tray type mat will do. These can easily be found at most big box stores or of course Amazon. Something like this (Amazon Boot Mat for only $6)
  • Bag of Rocks - the type of rock is completely up to you. If you're not barefoot often I suggest flat river rocks, but I personally use marble rock chips from Lowes (found here). If you have very young children you should get large flat river rocks that are too big to be a choking hazard.
  • Hot glue (only necessary if you have a dog who loves rocks or a small child who would rather decorate your house with your rocks)

Step 1: Rinse Your Rocks

Most bags of rocks are just that, rocks. I highly recommend rinsing your rocks. This is especially true if you're using the marble landscaping rocks. They're dusty and unless you want your house to look like your 2 year old ran around after playing in a chalk bin, rinse, rinse, and rinse again. You can just hose them off outside or throw some in a strainer and let the water run until it's clear. Kids love this part and if they're helping, definitely keep this step outside. Maybe even near your flower bed or that dry patch of grass so they can water your flowers/yard while you're at it. Once your rocks look clean, rinse them again for good measure.

Step 2: Assemble Your Mat

Now that you have clean rocks and muddy children, bring everything inside to assemble your mat. I know this step can be tricky, but if you follow the directions very carefully I think you'll find success. Ready? Dump your rocks on your mat. I'll give you a minute to read through that again. Take your time. Good? Good.

Once your pile o' rocks are in your tray go ahead and smooth them out. You'll have to decide for your family how many rocks you want. The more rocks you have, the less they'll shift and move under your foot. So you'll want enough to keep them from moving too much. Test it out, see how it feels. No cheating. Shoes off. You'll be delicately stepping at first if you're not used to it. That's fine. It's not a competition on who can tough it out (your kids will win). If it were, this mat would be filled with Legos. It's not, so, you do you. Ultimately, this will feel like a foot massage for a fraction of the cost and available whenever you want it.

If you have small children or dogs, either of which may want to move these rocks around your house possibly using their mouth, I would suggest gluing your rocks to the mat. Hot glue should work. This will make your project take much longer, but it may be safer for your situation. Just make sure to test your rocks when they're dry before placing your mat unattended on the floor. The last thing you want is your child or dog eating glue covered rocks.

Step 3: Place Your Mat/mats Around the House

Find a good place for your mat. It can permanently sit somewhere like near the kitchen sink, or you can move it around as needed. If you have hard wood floors you may want to add felt to the bottom of your mat to prevent scratching. Ours lives somewhat out of the way but easily accessible next to our fridge. We find we tend to stand on it for a few seconds or minutes as we walk through the kitchen just because its there. We also move it around the table as we play games, do puzzles or whatever.

Step 4: Cleaning Your Mat

You'll find that your mat will collect dust, hair and whatever your floor tends to collect in your house as time goes by. You'll want to clean it from time to time. If you did not glue your rocks down it's fairly simple to dump out your rocks, rinse off the mat, and pile the rocks back on. Alternatively you can vacuum your mat, just be careful to not suck up rocks in to your vacuum. You could move rocks from one side and vacuum if you don't feel like dumping them all out.

If you used the larger flat river rocks and glued them down you can just vacuum your mat.

Step 5: Start Your Journey to Foot Health

That's it. Now just remember to use your mat. Your kids will love it. They'll get some fun and appropriate sensory feedback. You'll love it. It will feel like a foot massage. Best of all, your feet will love it. They'll get stronger and more flexible. You'll also be able to help maintain that barefoot feeling even when your stuck inside in the cold. If your a barefoot runner, you won't have to build up your foot toughness as much in the spring as you continued to strengthen your feet all winter. It's a win win, plus it's fun.

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