On three separate occasions last week, caregivers asked me what to do about the climbing?
What did all three children have in common? They were all two-years-old.
What did the climbing look like? In home and at child-care, climbing on child sized tables, coffee tables, couches, chairs, other children, and end tables.
Why is this problematic? Well, in many instances, it puts children in an unsafe situation and at risk for falls and injury. It also can put children within reach of items that have been placed safely OUT of their reach (for example: television sets, bottles of lotion, the guinea pig cage, etc.)
So, what can we as caregivers do to PREVENT climbing? Climbing is a natural part of life, and a natural way of gaining gross motor skills and coordination. All young children experience climbing, and when they do – they gain core strength and fine/gross motor control. To attempt to “prevent” it would actually be a detriment to the child! However, the question should be…
How can we SAFELY allow our toddler to climb, gain strength and improve motor skills?
Well, after some discussion, here is what we have come up with!
The need to climb is intrinsic! Therefore, you can’t get rid of it. There is a reason that children go through a climbing phase, and it is very important! All we can do is make sure that we provide safe opportunities to refine those motor skills and climb, CLIMB, CLIMB!!
So, what is the bottom line? Find a way to SAFELY allow your toddler to climb, at home, at the park or at their child care center. Climbing is essential to motor development, and it will not “go away”, so working together to find a way to provide climbing experiences is a necessary part of Early Childhood Development!
In what ways has your child shown their desire to climb? How have you quenched their thirst for climbing? Did it work? Share with us!