Children are always climbing over something you don’t want them to; whether that’s the sofas, car seats, fences, trees or even castle ruins! It’s always something that we don’t want them to be doing, but why? Is it the muddy feet, sticky hands, or the social embarrassment? We can’t stop them from doing it, we all know we’ve tried, so why not stop trying to control them and encourage them instead?
Children want to climb. Tt’s a fact of life; it’s embedded in their programming to explore and examine, and unfortunately that involves scrambling over everything in their way. It’s their natural curiosity that moulds them into the person they will become. What would be so wrong with a world full of fit and enthusiastic adults? That’s all we’ll get if we encourage them and let them explore.
Rock climbing and bouldering is often written off as a dangerous sport, designed for adrenaline junkies who want to throw themselves from heights; and that may have been true in the beginning, but not anymore. Today climbing is statistically, one of the safest sports around, when compared to football, rugby and other like-minded mainstream sports taught in our schools across the country; and the benefits for children’s physical and mental development can be massive.
For young children climbing can be a crucial way of improving motor skills and basic movement. Climbing requires Agility, Balance and Co-ordination, skills that are vital throughout life and can be achieved in a fun way whilst on the walls. Alongside improving core fundamentals of human growth, climbing promotes flexibility as well as strengthening the core muscles across muscle groups throughout the body. There’s even anecdotal evidence that climbing can be beneficial for children with dyspraxia because of the stability of the environment.
It’s not just the physical aspects of climbing which are beneficial, given the layout of different climbs, problem solving plays a key part in becoming a good climber. That feeling of success once you’ve solved that route and reached the top can’t be beaten, it’s a massive confidence booster. You feel like you could take on anything once you’ve done that. That feeling is vital to children with low self-esteem, it can give them that push they need to try something that they’ve been too scared to do; maybe something like going to the toilet by themselves, for children with unknown anxiety who may just come across as shy, that could be a massive step for them. As someone who has suffered with anxiety their entire life I know how that feeling of accomplishment can really help in other aspects of your life, it really makes you feel like that trip to the shops alone isn’t that scary; how could it be scarier than the wall you’ve just climbed? It puts the World into a new perspective and makes life more manageable.
At Green Spider we want to get everyone climbing because there’s so many good reasons to. With sessions starting from 4 years old and our auto belay sessions only having a 15kg weight restriction. What’s stopping you from helping your child?