Michelle Yoder, OTR/L
While on vacation in Europe, I enjoyed meeting the people and experiencing the culture. It was interesting to see what people ate, what they wore, how they lived, etc. One thing that caught my attention was the opportunity for children to play. First, playgrounds were everywhere; I didn’t have to go looking for them! Secondly, the equipment on the playgrounds was awesome for children’s developing bodies and brains! They were full of things that promoted spinning, sliding, swinging and climbing! My favorites were those that kids could climb as climbing is so good for them!
Climbing strengthens the core and upper body. We’re always talking about how we need to have a strong core and proximal muscles in order to have good control of our fine motor muscles, distally. As well, climbing promotes bilateral coordination, or the use of the two sides of the body together. Lastly, it fosters motor planning as they figure out how to get their bodies to the top!
Take a look around your park or playground and see what you can find to climb! Take a hike in the woods and find a good tree to climb! Your kids will think it’s great fun, and the benefits will carryover into the classroom, too!