Climbing: A Fun Path to Stronger Bones in Children

As children grow, it is essential to provide them with opportunities for physical activities that promote their overall development. While traditional sports like football, rugby, hockey and tennis are popular choices, one activity often overlooked is climbing. Climbing whether outside on a rock face or on our awesome play frames, is not only an exciting, adrenaline-pumping adventure activity but also a fantastic way to enhance your child’s bone development.

1. Promotes Bone Density
Bone density is important as it benefits bone strength and resistance to fractures. During childhood and adolescence, bones undergo a critical phase of growth and development. Engaging in weight-bearing activities like climbing, plays a vital role in increasing bone density. Climbing requires children to support their body weight, placing stress on their bones, which in turn stimulates bone cells to build stronger and denser bones.

2. Enhances Musculoskeletal Strength
Climbing engages multiple muscle groups, including those in the arms, legs, back, and core. As children pull themselves up, they use their muscles in many different ways, contributing to improved strength and endurance. This activity helps in developing strong, healthy muscles, which are essential for supporting their whole body and maintaining proper posture.

3. Develops Coordination and Balance
Climbing involves navigating obstacles and varying surfaces, which requires precise movements and coordination. As children learn to climb, they develop better spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination. The act of balancing and adjusting body positions while climbing strengthens their ability to sense what movement and action is required in a particular situation, enabling them to have better control over their overall movements. This enhanced coordination not only supports climbing but also translates into improved performance in other physical activities.

4. Stimulates Growth Hormone Production
During climbing activities, the body undergoes intense physical stress, leading to the release of growth hormones. Growth hormone is crucial for bone growth, as it stimulates the production of osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone formation. Regular climbing sessions help promote the secretion of growth hormones, facilitating optimal bone development during childhood and adolescence.

5. Boosts Confidence and Self-Esteem
Climbing is a challenging activity that pushes children out of their comfort zones. As they conquer new heights and overcome obstacles, they experience a sense of achievement and gain confidence in their abilities. Climbing teaches children to set goals, develop problem-solving skills, and persist in the face of challenges. This boost in confidence extends beyond physical activities and positively impacts their overall self-esteem and emotional well-being.

6. Encourages Risk Assessment and Decision Making
Climbing inherently involves an element of risk, which provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn risk assessment and decision-making skills. As they navigate the climbing course, they must evaluate the height, stability of holds, and potential dangers. This process allows them to make calculated decisions and develop an understanding of their own capabilities. Such skills acquired during climbing can be applied to various real-life situations, fostering independence and responsible decision-making.

7. Fosters Social Interaction and Teamwork
Climbing around a Kidzplay & Little Bees play frame is an activity kids love to do together promoting social interaction. Children can climb together, support and encourage each other, and learn to communicate effectively. Working out how best to get from one side of the climbing frame to the other whilst having the biggest adventure along the way fosters teamwork, cooperation, and a sense of camaraderie among children, enhancing their social skills and empathy.

It’s not just Soft Play…

Nathan Evans