The connection between children and climbing involves more than curiosity. Children in kindergarten use climbing skills to explore and test their environment as they grow. Climbing pushes children and makes them want to achieve more, which is a skill useful in every aspect of their lives. Climbing is also generally safe and enjoyable because the children climb at their own comfort levels. The kids begin to understand when they are doing something too dangerous and discover their limits. Climbing also allows children to manage and assess risks which is an important life skill to learn from a young age.
The benefits of climbing are many and are divided into four categories.
Although kids view climbing as a fun pastime, the physical activities involved in climbing helps to support body and skill development. The physical benefits of climbing help prepare young children for further development that aids in learning in class and beyond. The physical benefits for children in early childhood education include:
- Increased muscle tone and strength as they pull up their body weight
- Improved motor skills as hand-eye coordination is necessary to grasp handholds and wrap their fingers around them to climb upwards
- Sharpened visual perception as kids scout areas to place their hands and feet
- Improved balance, agility, coordination, and speed
As children climb, their brains are engaged in valuable ways. Children must determine how to climb to the top and what actions they need to take to get there. This thinking provides the following mental benefits to children:
- Improved decision-making skills
- Ability to complete an activity in a specific sequence
- Ability to solve low risks problems
The social benefits of climbing span several necessary skills and developmental milestones to children, even in daycare. As children interact while climbing, it helps them to master self-control and emotional regulation. Waiting for their turn to climb and facing new climbing challenges puts the child’s self-control skills to the test. Through climbing, kids also gain confidence in their ability to face challenges and learn to cope with fear and stress when working through difficult tasks. Consequently, the children develop self-reliance as they work to scale the tree on their own.
Additional Health Benefits
Climbing promotes wellness and proper physical development because it facilitates a healthy body. Children’s cardiovascular flow increases when they raise their arms above their heads to reach for a handhold while climbing. Climbing also mimics a natural stretching motion, which increases flexibility. Furthermore, as children pull themselves up to climb, their upper body strength and arm strength improves. Building physical strength leads to a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Climbing also improves coordination since it requires coordination between the child’s hands, eyes, arms, legs, and feet. When children use climbing as play and exercise, it reduces the risks of developing health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Climbing opportunities in daycare provide children with the tools to fuel holistic growth.
With all the benefits of climbing at Kindergarten Springfield, it’s clear why kids of all ages should be involved in climbing. We support the children enjoying this type of play because the same requirements and challenges presented in climbing apply elsewhere in life with problem-solving and spatial thinking. Your children can have fun and reap the wellness benefits of climbing.