Indoor Rock Climbing with the Kids

This weekend we finally took the kids to our local indoor rock climbing gym. The hubby and I dabbled in climbing during our pre-kid days, but we’ve known for a while now that our kids were ready to give it a try.

Little Man was rarin’ to go and couldn’t wait to get started. He climbed and climbed until we had to drag him out right before closing time:

20120604-000039.jpg

Big Brother was equally excited and also did a great job:

20120604-000147.jpg

Little Man would climb to the top nearly every time, while Big Brother would get a few feet off the ground. He was quite proud of himself, though, and would exclaim loudly each time “Little Man big high up, Big Brother little high!” Yes, Big Brother tends to speak in third person :)

The kids had a complete blast and they really did awesome. They have been begging to go back ever since, so I forsee a lot more climbing in our future. I get a kick out of everyone who acts so shocked that we took Big Brother to rock climb. You never know what your kids are capable of unless you give them the opportunities to show you! Little Man is 4.5 and Big Brother is 5 and I feel that they are at the perfect age to get started in climbing. They have always been good climbers, but they are old enough now to really follow directions and use problem solving skills in a way that they can apply them to climbing.

Big Brother was very excited about exploring the sensory-rich environment and was easily distracted by the climbing holds and would take much time “exploring” each one. He also loved the sensation of hanging from the rope, so we tried to accomodate him and let him go at his own pace.

I can see already that climbing is going to be beneficial for both boys (but especially for our son with autism) in the areas of strength, coordination, motor planning, focus and self-esteem. For now, we’re all just having fun and celebrating the fact that we’ve got two awesome kiddos who never cease to amaze us.

Do your kids rock climb? How old are they and where do they climb–indoors or out?

8 thoughts on “Indoor Rock Climbing with the Kids

  1. A Nature Mom

    So cute to see your boys climbing! My 5-year-old LOVES rock climbing in the rock gym (started at 4.5). At first, he was all about getting to the top of the wall, but is now obsessed with bouldering.

    Reply
  2. cliffmama

    Climbing is such a wonderful sport for kids. It really does build self esteem and coordination. I let my daughters play around and mostly dangle on the rope as early as 3, but they both really started climbing when they were almost 5. Because I climb outdoors so much, they climbed indoors and outdoors. Biggest issues outdoors is having the nerve to back off of a secure ledge to be lowered. They were scared until they were about 6 to lower off, but it didn’t bother them when they were in the gym. They are both wonderfully self-assured healthy teens now who can climb 5.11.
    If you do take them climbing outdoors, I wrote an article with lots of tips on how to make it a successful family outing in my blog: http://cliffmama.com/blog/climbing-with-kids-family-climbing/
    Contact me if you want to talk about climbing with kids any further. I run a family climbing group at the Gunks with over 80 families in it now.

    Reply
    1. Hiking Mama

      That’s awesome! I hope to get them climbing outdoors, but will probably hold off until they are a little bit older. Will definitely check put the article!

      Reply
  3. homesicklocal

    Cool weekend. My sister and brother in law climb and took my daughter for the first time last summer. We are in Utah and right by two major canyons so they just go up one of those.

    Reply
    1. Hiking Mama

      That’s really cool. I’ve never been to Utah but the pictures I see are always amazing, and I know a lot of people enjoy climbing the canyons there. Lucky girl!

      Reply
  4. thirdeyemom

    This is so strange. I realized I haven’t been getting your posts for a long time even though I have been a subscriber! I checked back today and somehow I was unsubscribed but I never did it! Well, I’m back again! I thought you were just busy and not posting but I found one today!

    Reply