Have you ever wondered, why do children love to climb after all? Well, according to the experts, children love to climb for enjoyment, fun, access to the top, and to experience some sense of danger.
It is said that all healthy children are born for climbing. In other words, children climb for the very reason why fish swim and the birds fly. Soon after their birth, children tend to make use of their instincts for seeking, seeing, touching, exploring, and moving objects around.
While all children are unique, specific similar patterns in the way, their neurological system functions create some room for generalization.
Babies love to explore and crawl around, touching every object that they can reach. At the same time, toddlers learn to cruise and discover the toys, climbable objects, and furniture around them. Toddlers love to investigate the possibilities of new sources of pleasure, sensations, and satisfaction.
There is a very predictable process of development in the new climbing behaviors of children. This includes rolling, reaching, pulling up, touching, crawling, balancing, holding on, sitting, grasping, and standing with some support. The higher levels include walking, running, and pulling themselves up. Since many of these involve several safety risks and concerns, the play environment of children should be assessed very carefully, and the safety of toddler should be in view. Risk is still valued as the child gets older, but it gets minimized significantly.
To allow healthy development, children should be allowed to have some opportunities that involve small risks in the playground equipment for schools. Climbing, for instance, is a risky activity. The higher the children go, the more dangerous the activity becomes. For any particular climbing activity, children may frequently fall many times before they reach their goal. Based on the records given by the NEISS (National Electronic Injury Surveillance System), it has been revealed that around 60 - 80 percent off the injuries that approximately 200,000 children face annually are a result of climbing.
Hence, playgrounds should include climbing challenges that are designed while keeping the limitations of toddlers and children of different ages in view. In this regard, the surfaces are also designed to minimize the risk of a detrimental impact.
All the risks give rise to one common concern. That is, should children be allowed to climb trees? No doubt climbing trees offers similar benefits, just as other types of climbing does. However, during the learning stages, it should always be under the assistance of an adult. Teachers and school administrators, along with parents often prohibit climbing trees in parks, backyards, and schools.
In playground safety, one of the major missing elements is the failure of providing enough free time for playing, on playgrounds that present safety challenges. Through assistance and challenging plays, children develop the ability to recognize when an activity has become doable to undoable to inherently dangerous and risky. This is one of the most fundamental components of a safe and healthy play.