5 benefits of climbing for kids
Climbing presents lots of benefits for children, and it's not just limited to physical health! Find out how climbing can help your child develop and grow below.
1. Strength, endurance, and coordination
It’s no secret to any adult climber that climbing is a full-body workout! Your grip, upper and lower body strength and core strength will all be challenged, not to mention working your brain with vertical puzzles. Climbing really is a one-stop-shop for building overall muscle and improving endurance whilst honing motor skills. With such a wide range of varying angles and distances between holds, climbing is also an effective activity to increase spatial awareness, improve balance, and hand-eye-foot coordination amongst children as they are drawn to pay attention to their body’s position in relation to their surroundings.
2. Improves cognitive functions
Each new climb is a puzzle to solve. Before even stepping on the wall, climbers will need to engage their brains to analyse the best pattern of movements to reach the top, if their first attempt is unsuccessful, they must pause and re-assess. We have seen this help some of the kids who attend our Rock Club classes in their school studies as they know how to try things repeatedly and differently each time. Some studies have even shown evidence of climbing improving memory and academic performance in children.
3. Social Skills
You only have to take one look at our amazing Hangar community to see that climbing is anything but a solitary sport! When children climb together, they are given the opportunity to work collaboratively with others, this not only improves their communication and team working skills, but also reflects the skills they will need to utilise later in life in school and work.
The best climbing buddies we’ve seen in our Rock Club groups have formed their friendship around a mutual interest, strong teamwork, and lots of giggling.
The feeling of achievement when completing a climb is a great boost of confidence for any climber! Especially when surrounded by a supportive community that will celebrate with you. The more achievements are celebrated, hopefully the more children will set further goals which in turn boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Whilst a climber can lean on support from the community, it’s solely down to the individual to physically get themselves to the top which leaves an unrivalled feeling of self-accomplishment.
Our coaches love seeing their kids grow into confident climbers! Asking each other questions, reaching the top of the wall, sticking their tongue out at a member of staff, asking a customer if they can use the wall, this confidence helps them outside the climbing centre too!
5. Taking healthy risks & boosting independence
‘Risk-taking play’ is an important part of childhood development. As children develop their skills on the climbing wall, they also develop their ability to evaluate risks. Climbing can feel like a fight against gravity and the constant assessment of risk versus reward is always present. Will they fall or will they get to the top? There’s always the option to climb back down, re-entering the comfort zone of being back on the floor. But every attempt to reclimb to the top is another opportunity to push their comfort zone even further and explore what they’re capable of.
There’s nothing scarier than being halfway up a climbing wall and feeling a bit stuck. Suddenly the walls feel twice the height and the holds feel half the size. But getting past that, on your own, without help and conquering your fears? What better way to reach the realisation that you can do anything you want, all on your own?