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Should you let your kids climb trees?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma ~ Eartha Kitt.
Parenting (215)      Fitness (60)      Fun (277)      Children (252)      Kids (112)     


tree
Photo by Łukasz Smolarczyk


There's a lot of talk about an "epidemic" of obesity and kids needing to be more active, so you might consider tree climbing beneficial. Or you might worry about broken arms and think it's too dangerous. What do you think?

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I loved climbing trees when I was a child. I have two little monkeys (adventurous boys). They're a little young to climb trees just yet but I'll let them once they are a little older. Outdoor exercise and fresh air keeps everyone happy.
Is it too much to say that I love you, Claire? :P Lucky your kids.

I don't have any myself, and so I'm always curious - for those who do, and who like to let their kids be kids and play outside and climb trees and get dirty and stuff, do you feel a blanket disapproval from other parents if you do? Why is there so much responsibility put on parents that if their kid has a broken arm they're somehow negligent?
by susie
My youngest is 15 months and was climbing furniture before he could walk. I have a feeling that I. iChat not have a choice when he's old enough for trees. My friends kids are similar so there's not any disapproval. I think you tend to make friends with other mum's with a similar outlook.
Injuries can most certainly occur, and depends on how high and safe the tree is. Not recommended though, and the same goes with monkey bars. Let the little monkey within climb ropes inside a gymnasium where it safer and multiple supervision is enjoyed.
My kids are still a bit too little for much tree climbing, though my eldest has a go at it. I'm fine with them doing it once they're physically able to. I will just give them the same advice my Dad gave me, ie. Never put your weight on a branch thinner than your arm. I enjoyed getting out in nature and climbing trees as a kid and I wouldn't want my kids to miss out on that. Monkey bars were fun too. I think it's a pity those have disappeared from playgrounds now. They were great for building upper body strength. Gyms may be safer but they cost money and lack the magic of sitting on a branch quietly as a bird comes and lands right next to you and listening to the wind through the branches. Also, tree houses are awesome.
Children like excitement. There is no thrill unless there is danger involved. Through life, kids are going to get their fair share of bumps and bruises, and it is no good wrapping them up in cotton wool. Back in the 50s/60s, children would go off and play by without parent supervision. There was no one to stop them climbing trees then, and it was a perfectly natural thing to do. This sort of play needs to be encouraged, not banned.
Absolutely. I spent so much time in trees when I was young. Especially for a girl ..you feel so strong, so confident and you can get away from pesky boys and family members who run around below looking for you. There was no greater pleasure than perching in the branches, swaying in the wind, contemplating nature. Never fell, never broke a bone, wish I could still do it.. Actually I know a great tree in a park nearby. I might just sneak down there when no one is looking and see if I can still do it.
My older two enjoy climbing the odd tree - they're still young so it's only very low to the ground ones they go for. Kids are pretty smart - they won't go higher than they can. I do like those "spider web" climbing structures at some parks too - they have sand below in case somebody falls. I've never seen a kid fall off one though - the kids who aren't as confident don't climb as high as the ones who are.
I too loved climbing trees when I was younger and will definitely allow my son to climb them once he is old enough. A sense of adventure, some exercise and fresh air should amount to a good night's sleep, right?
by Vee
I understand that kids like myself use to climb trees, in fact I have a picture of me and my best friend now of 50 years ''up a tree''!...and we are females.

This question is close to my heart.

Today, I think kids don't seem to want to even look at a tree?
It's all gaming, inside t.v. and I feel that is the reason 'why' they are unhealthy and obese.

Plus the food we all eat has certain modifications....so as wonderful as the idea to me and many more about tree climbing is a lovely one......I would not really encourage it today.

Just the safety issue...a fall from a tree, is a heavy fall.
I take your point, but just getting them out the house seems to be the even
bigger challenge.
Then to get them to put one foot in front of the other, would be a huge goal.

As crazy as it may seem, if I had my time all over again....I would have no t.v., and no games what-so-ever...
See how they like those 'apples'..lol

Out the back yard, or park seven days a week.


Kids do still play outdoors. At least mine do (in spite of us having a tv and a computer which my eldest uses for watching kids' shows on iView), and there are always some in the park when we visit it.
I think that is what trees were made for! Of course there is always the dangers of kids falling, however trees teach us so many things outside of the physical challenges it gives us. Absolutely kids should climb trees.
Kids should climb trees. I used to climb trees when I was a kid. I broke my arm in a car accident not from falling out of a tree. Accidents happen. You learn so much from climbing trees. You enjoy nature. You learn about your abilities. You experience adventure and learn to trust your instincts about safety. I used to do some of my best thinking sitting up in a tree.And the view from up there!! My parents never watched me when I climbed a tree. That would have made me nervous and then I might have made a mistake. Let kids be kids.
I loved climbing trees as a kid!
Both my kids' did as well.
Certainly helps with dexterity, visible 'sizing up' & decision making!
No broken bones ensued by us three!
loved climbing trees as a child, cannot see why children of today cannot also climb trees if they want to. although mostly they has their eyes glued to an ipad. Maybe they fall and get hurt because they are not used to this sort of activity .
I use to love climbing anything, trees, buildings, you name it and I climbed it and encouraged my kids to do the same. It builds good muscles in arms legs and hands, and it's fun.
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