Why Kids Should Try Rock Climbing
Kids are natural explorers. They turn anything they can into a jungle gym and climb on top of couches, chairs, counters, etc. They love fun things and bright colors, and parents love anything that will tire their children out. Enter rock climbing. Brightly colored climbing holds line the walls at commercial climbing gyms while providing kids with the perfect (tiring) adventure. Many gyms across the country offer climbing programs for kids as young as 5, and a handful of gyms provide programs for children under 5 to try climbing! But if those aren’t enough reasons to put your kid in rock climbing, there are mental, physical, and developmental benefits that may convince you.
Whether you are five or 50 years old, climbing builds confidence. However, when a child can establish a strong sense of self-confidence earlier in life, they are better prepared to tackle challenges later in life. Climbing is challenging and, at times, frustrating, but if a child learns to stick with a climb until they complete it, it will build their confidence in themselves and their abilities. Additionally, climbing teaches children to be brave. Many children are afraid of heights, but if they can complete a climb even when scared, it may help lessen their fear and build their confidence in doing hard things. A vital lesson that climbing teaches kids and adults is that it isn’t about being fearless. It’s about being brave and tackling challenges despite fear.
Ensuring kids are physically active is a critical component of keeping them healthy. However, most kids are unlikely to go out and run a mile or do 50 push-ups because they feel like it. In this regard, rock climbing is incredible. Climbing allows for the discrete development of a wide range of physical abilities such as agility, balance, strength, and eye-hand/foot coordination. Kids won’t even notice that they are training their muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and anaerobic and aerobic systems because all of their focus is on making it to the top of the wall! Many kids’ classes and programs facilitated through a climbing gym also include conditioning and general fitness components so that each child receives a total body workout.
Childhood is the most developmental period. Rock climbing provides a great way to develop spatial awareness and problem-solving skills. To move most effectively up a rock climbing wall, the climber must have good body and spatial awareness. Additionally, climbing can be dangerous, and simple gym rules such as not walking under climbing ropes or other climbers on the wall are great ways to ensure kids become aware of their surroundings. Additionally, there are always numerous ways to complete a climb. As a kid climbs up the wall, a hold might be too far away to reach for, which forces them to problem-solve on the spot. It might take them a moment of trial and error, but it requires them to use their problem-solving abilities to overcome the setback and find another method to reach the hold.
Rock climbing also teaches kids how to face their fears head-on. Many climbers are afraid of heights, children and adults alike. Many kids will have to overcome their fears to reach the top of the wall by learning to breathe, focus, and keep moving forward despite it.
Reason 4 – It’s fun!
The most important reason! At heart, kids want to play and have fun. Introduce them to rock climbing, and you have an easy way to keep the fun in fitness!
Rock climbing is perfect for children because it is fun while aiding in mental, physical, and developmental improvements critical for a healthy and prosperous life. Do you know a kid that has, or has your kid, tried rock climbing? If so, let us know how it went in the comments and if they’ve gone again!