The Benefits of Indoor Rock Climbing for Kids
All parents want to ensure that their kids enjoy a balanced diet of indoor and outdoor activities.
In an age where so many of today’s youngsters seem to wander through lives with their heads bowed and their eyes glued to an electronic device, it’s always great to find an activity that encourages kids to look up, use belay devices and engage with the world around them.
We all want our kids to grow up active, healthy, physically fit and mentally agile.
What you may not have known is that there’s a great activity that can develop all of the above at the same time…while also being a whole lot of fun!
Indoor rock climbing may not be the most obvious activity for young children, yet nonetheless, it is a safe and highly beneficial pursuit that can help developing youngsters in every aspect of their lives.
Let’s take a look at some of the many ways in which kids can benefit when they partake in this fun and unusual sport…After all, sport is an essential part of school life!
Problem-solving skills they can carry into every aspect of their lives
“As they traverse the wall, children must define the problem of trying to scale the wall, applying their cognitive faculties to solve complex problems. Making their way upwards they must scrutinise available handholds and footholds, using them to chart a path to the top. ”
It’s one thing to be able to memorise and regurgitate information, it’s another thing altogether to apply higher order thinking to a problem. The trouble with schools and education is that they can place a little too much emphasis on the former but neglect the latter.
From a young age, it’s essential that kids learn problem-solving techniques as this can be the key to independent thinking. Indoor rock climbing formerly was utilised as a training facility for the outdoors and has now evolved to become a fun indoor activity in its own right with the added benefit of helping kids to develop their minds as well as their bodies.
With the aid of expert tuition, children learn the art of creative problem solving, drawing on a growing bank of knowledge and experience to make judgement calls that will help get them to the top and also helping them to mitigate the situation when they’ve chosen a path that doesn’t help them ascend the way they hoped.
Once this mode of thinking becomes ingrained in their minds, they can carry it on into their studies and all aspects of their lives, helping to reinforce the knowledge they gain in school and apply the same problem-solving processes in academic, sporting and social situations.
Strength, stamina and flexibility
“Rock climbing is a great full-body workout for kids and adults as increased strength is just one of the benefits of climbing.”
It’s vital for children to maintain and improve both the strength and endurance components of their bodies as they develop. As rock climbing is a full-body workout, it becomes a valuable tool for training and fitness resulting in improved metabolism, excellent daily health and a clearer mindset leading to greater overall confidence.
Increasing strength and stamina also has several developmental benefits for growing bodies. When kids pursue natural movements such as climbing, it not only helps them to develop and maintain strong muscles, climbing also strengthens the supporting ligaments and tendons that will help protect their bodies from strains, sprains, and other daily or sport-related injuries.
What’s more, it even helps them to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, mapping out a path for good physical health now and for the rest of their lives.
Concentration, focus and patience
“Climbing, even at a young age can help make your child not just into an expert problem solver, but also teach them the importance of focus and concentration and applying themselves 100% to the task at hand in an era where multitasking appears to be the new norm.”
In an age where kids and adults alike have so many demands on their attention, kids really benefit from activities that encourage focus and concentration.
We live in a society that tends not to encourage or reward patience. Rock climbing is an activity that amply demonstrates the kids the value of patience, perseverance and determination encouraging them to be focused and determined yet fluid and adaptable in achieving their goal of getting to the top.
Rock climbing involves agility in its movement, so it’s also great at developing hand-eye coordination along with fine motor skills. Children, especially adolescents, are continually grappling with a body that’s always growing and changing. It can be challenging to coordinate the mind and body when both are changing so rapidly. Rock climbing imbues kids the coordination to make growing up a little easier.
Discipline and Confidence
Finally, as kids hone the physical and mental skills they need to overcome increasingly complex tasks in their rock climbing, they will grow in confidence in their abilities. They will then be able to apply this same confidence to every aspect of their lives. They will also learn discipline as they continuously strive to better themselves and overcome new challenges.
So how do I sign them up?
Look up your local climbing gym and enquire about their services for children. Some climbing gyms offer structured programs delivered over a school term. Others may hold holiday workshops. And at the very least, some gyms will give the supervising adult belayer free entry!