Go Climb a Tree! 13 Reasons Parents Should Encourage Kids to Climb Trees by Teacher Karen

10 months ago

Go Climb a Tree! 13 Reasons Parents Should Encourage Kids to Climb Trees

A 30-foot pine tree was the chosen place for my son and his friends. It morphed into forts, castles, mountains, whatever their imaginations could come up with for hours of pretend play. While pretend play confers all kinds of benefits to children, climbing trees does, too!

Note that climbing trees adheres to the Universal Truth: All learning and growing requires some risk. Yes, there is risk, but the benefits children reap rising up into the branches are worth it.

Climbing trees develops these physical benefits:

  • Gross motor skills.
  • Physical strength.
  • Physical agility.
  • Sensory awareness.

Climbing trees develops these cognitive benefits: 

  • A positive "can-do" attitude. 
  • Problem solving and spatial-awareness skills. 
  • More complex neural networks (bilateral motion). 
  • Creative thinking, focus and concentration.

Climbing trees develops these emotional benefits:

  • Reduces stress.
  • Develops self-confidence and self-esteem. 
  • Connects children with nature.

Climbing trees develops these social benefits: 

  • Communication skills. 
  • Cooperation.

Encourage climbing! Stay close at first, but ease off as they get proficient. If they get stuck, don’t reach up and rescue them. Talk them down, branch by branch. Climbing trees, like play, sets roots for life!

Learn more about pretend play at PlayandGrow.com

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Donna John
I loved climbing trees as a kid. My best friend and I would climb to the highest branch and sit there for hours.
Teacher Karen
Sitting up in a tree is soothing to the soul even as it is exhilarating! My grandbubs are eyeing our tree...the lowest branches are still just beyond their grasp, but it won't be too much longer and they'll be off and climbing too!
Mike Prochaska
I love watching the kids skip the playground at the park and go climb the trees. My kids asked me to take them to the school playground so they could climb the tree there since they can’t do it during recess. Of course I took them. They both were so proud to finally get up the tree all by themselves
Teacher Karen
And your comment highlighted one of the best things trees do--give kiddos a way to feel PROUD about themselves! How fabulous! You're a good Dad Mike!
Elisa Schmitz
I love this, Teacher Karen ! Climbing trees was my thing back in the day. My grandma had the best climbing trees. At her house, that's where you'd always find me when I was late for dinner (frequently). I have to say, it's rare that I see kids climbing trees these days. Let's bring it back. As you say, so many benefits (in addition to just plain FUN)! Donna John Mike Prochaska
Teacher Karen
What wonderful memories you have! We MUST allow kiddos the same options we were gifted in being free to be kids--climb trees, swing high at the park...PLAY!
Lark Sontag
We definitely need children doing more children things and experimenting. Yes, be safe, but you know, some are being so safe they're not giving children the skills to be safe. You learn how to navigate life by experiencing life. Thanks for this great tip!
Teacher Karen
I like that---you learn how to navigate life by experiencing life...so true! We as parents (or grandparents) cannot protect our children from all the hurts and heartaches of the world and we do them a disservice by not allowing them to develop the coping mechanisms(in all developmental areas) that would help them via PLAY in the name of keeping them 'safe'. Thanks for your comment!

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