Children are natural climbers. Their curiosity draws them to climbing as it allows them to satisfy their thrill seeking, adventurous, problem solving minds. At Rock Out Climbing Gym, you will find a program designated for younger climbers, including routes designed with their size and strength in mind using top ropes to help overcome their challenges with height. Though most people might not think of climbing as a go-to activity for children, climbing has many advantages for children’s mental and physical development. The question becomes less of why should your children climb, but why shouldn’t they?
Climbing helps with children’s mental and physical development
According to luckyclimbers.com, a study from PlayCore “found evidence that climbing at a young age helps hone spatial and directional awareness, and also boosts physical skills such as balance, hand and foot coordination, and agility.” A 2015 study from University of North Florida’s psychologists found that “proprioceptively dynamic activities like climbing” can greatly improve core cognitive functions such as memory.
Dealing with various platform and inclines has been shown to help children with the ability to sense one’s own body position and movement.
2. Climbing has been shown to improve academic performance
A 2008 study observed the physical education (P.E.) department at a junior high school in Naperville, Illinois. They redesigned their gym curriculum to focus more on climbing. Immediately they began to see the results, with major academic improvement throughout the school. This was credited to the student’s enhancement in mood, focus, and memory. This is not the only school that has found climbing to help curriculum. A western Pennsylvania school saw their standardized tests go from below average to 18 percent above after integrating climbing into their P.E. curriculum.
Even if your child isn’t enrolled in school yet, it is never too young to find activities that help improve your child’s mental development.
3. Climbing helps children learn problem solving skills
Climbing is an intensive problem-solving sport. Climbers must analyze each route and find the most efficient method to reach the top (routes are called “problems” for a reason). The same part of your brain that is used for puzzles is activated when climbing.
Climbing at an early age encourages planning, goal-setting, and creativity. Children also learn how to quickly adapt to new environments.
4. Climbing is a Social Activity
Although the child is the only one climbing on the wall, they are rarely alone in their efforts. Instructors, peers and parents play a large role in developing a child’s climbing ability. Children are often the first to encourage others while climbing and benefit greatly from the supportive environment most climbing gyms offer. Learning to fall and get back up is better when there is a social support network in place.
Clearly children's innate attraction to climbing goes beyond solely excitement and adventure. Climbing is greatly helpful in cognitive and physical development. Luckily, at Rock Out, we not only have specific routes set for younger children, but a “Kinder Klimb” program as well. Check out more information here. (insert link to Kinder Klimb program)