Jul 12 , 2023
My child is solely interested in climbing! What should I do?
This is a question I've been asked numerous times. Parents learn about the Montessori philosophy. They see adorable trays on shelves and anticipate their youngster "working" with concentration using wonderful Montessori materials.
Then their child is solely interested in climbing on and off the sofa. They flip the material baskets over and jump on them. They might even try to scale the shelves.
In my playgroup, I have parents who apologise when their children want to leave the session to run around in the garden. The room where I run my playgroup has a great view of the grounds. Unfortunately, I cannot allow direct access to the garden because it is neither gated or guarded.
But I completely understand why some kids don't want to spend an hour and a half in playgroup. I provide climbing stones, a pop-up tunnel, a soft ball and opportunities for gross motor skill practise, but it's not always enough.
Children under the age of six experience "sensitive periods of learning." They must practise the same technique again and over until they have mastered it. Climbing is one of the talents that parents are concerned about.
Climbing, on the other hand, has numerous advantages:
It enhances dexterity by allowing them to hone their fine motor abilities, grip, and grasp. Eventually, those abilities will assist children in holding a pencil correctly and in handwriting.
It boosts the child's self-esteem:
Your child will gain confidence, overcome concerns, and take on new tasks every day via trial and error and safe risk-taking. He can do anything if he can get to the top of the climbing frame!
It improves your child's physical strength:
When confronted with new climbing challenges, it provides an opportunity for problem solving, and your child will build critical thinking abilities by exploring alternate paths to climb. They'll have to figure out where to put their feet and hands, how high they can go, and how to get down...
Taking Risks in a Safe Manner
If you provide safe but challenging climbing opportunities, you will allow your child to manage and assess risk, which is an important life skill to learn from a young age. In fact, they have been many studies on risky play.
Now, that you know the benefits, you may feel more comfortable to let your child climb as much as she wants. But what about safety?
Also, for a parent, having one child totally into climbing or being very physical can be exhausting. I will not lie; it was enjoyable to have a daughter into puzzles and colouring. It was more tiring to have a second child into running, climbing and playing football. My son is still climbing the stair bannisters like a monkey and is constantly on the go.
So, what should you do if your youngster is just interested in climbing?
1. There is no error:
Before they can sit still, children must learn all of their body abilities.
That's why it's so tough for them to sit down in school. It is typical for children to be on the move. I would even add that you should be delighted that your child's bodily requirements are robust and that it challenges you to meet these very basic needs.
According to Maria Montessori, "respect all reasonable kinds of activities and try to understand them."
2. Make safe climbing options available:
Now that you know your child's desire to climb is "normal," provide him with additional "safe" possibilities.
Is it possible to have an indoor climbing structure? Is that a Pickler triangle? A wall climbing structure? What about making an obstacle course out of the cushions from the sofa?
First thing in the morning, go to the park or the garden. If you meet his climbing demands, he may be more willing to appreciate a peaceful activity where you can relax with your coffee.
3. Reinforce the safety boundaries:
It is also acceptable to impose some boundaries. It is not necessary to allow your child to climb on the furniture, even if it is anchored to the walls, simply because he enjoys climbing. Make sure you have a safe alternative and are prepared to handle the tantrum that may ensue. Climbing is an urge, and your child is not "a bad boy" for wanting to do it again after you've told him it's dangerous.
4. Teach your child how to descend:
If safety is still a worry, educate your child how to properly descend the playground structure as they climb it. "Go down feet first," show and say. Lie on your stomach and slowly descend until your feet contact the floor."
5. Provide additional opportunities for gross motor skills:
Climbing children are certainly more physically active. Some children learn more effectively through physical experience. Do you find yourself shifting in your seat all the time? Do you enjoy bouncing a ball against a wall while on the phone with a customer? Did you learn your lesson by circling your bedroom? Some of us require more movement than others. If you have one such child, you will need to provide numerous physical chances for play: a trolley to push, a box to fill with heavy items, a toddler football lesson, swimming and an indoor playgroup. My daughter's bed used to be adjacent to an indoor Ikea slide. So many afternoons were spent jumping from the slide to the bed!
6. Look after your own needs:
I can only stand so many football games. So, in our household, my spouse is the one that offers sports participation. I dislike playgrounds, so I take my children on lengthy hikes in the woods instead. And their father will take everyone out while I stay warm inside.
I find it simpler to go to the playground with friends; it was a method to meet both my needs and the needs of my children. If you are conscious of your own wants, you will be able to meet both your child's and your own.