When should kids start climbing?

Little toddler girl climbing at the playground

Climbing is a natural and healthy activity for children that helps them to develop their motor skills, coordination, and confidence. However, parents often concerned about the risks of climbing, and wonder at what age their child can climb safely. While every child is unique and there is no one "right" age to start climbing, we'll go over some general ranges and important considerations at different ages. 

Generally, children naturally begin climbing at around 9-12 months of age. At this stage, they are able to pull themselves up to a standing position and may start to try climbing onto low objects, such as stools, cribs, or even small tables. By the age of 2, most toddlers are able to climb up and down stairs independently and can navigate most playground equipment with some assistance.

Between the ages of 3 and 5, children's climbing abilities improve significantly. They become more confident and adventurous, and are able to climb higher and more complex structures at playgrounds, as well as monkey bars. Many can handle more challenging climbing activities as well, such as rock climbing at camps or at home, with adult supervision.

It's important to note that every child develops at their own pace, and some may take longer to develop their climbing skills than others. Factors such as physical ability, temperament, and exposure to climbing opportunities can all influence a child's climbing development.

Parents can support their child's climbing development by providing safe and appropriate climbing opportunities. This can include visiting playgrounds with climbing structures, setting up a kids rock climbing wall at home, or taking the child to a rock climbing gym or other supervised climbing facility. Some rock climbing gyms do have age restrictions, so make sure to double check before heading out with your kids!

Don't forget to teach your kids about basic rock climbing safety as well, including how to use hand and foot holds correctly, down-climbing , and falling on feet and bums whenever possible.

In conclusion, there is no specific age at which a child should be able to climb. However, most children begin climbing at around 9-12 months of age and continue to develop their climbing skills throughout childhood. By providing safe and appropriate climbing opportunities and supervising children while they climb, parents can support their child's climbing development and help them to enjoy the many benefits of this fun and healthy activity!

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