Rock Climbing Toddlers

I heard about this from a friend of mine recently.  Her hubby showed her these videos on Youtube.  Curious, I decided to check them out for myself.  I was pretty blown away.  I’d always thought I’d have to wait until Gavin had more dexterity before I could teach him to rock climbing, but now it appears I have underestimated the boundless potentials of a child yet again.

Here is one of an 11 month old baby climbing a home wall:

Is that amazing or what?  Gavin was barely standing up at this age.  It was only recently that I was even able to convince Gavin to start climbing the jungle gym and going down the slide on his own.  I tried once to take him to a indoor rock climbing wall and he balked at it.  I guess it was because I wasn’t hanging up all his favourite toys at the top of the wall like the parents did in this next video:

Now look what this 3 year old is climbing and say “wow”:

My friend recently took his kid to the rock climbing gym.  He’s only about 15 months and he’s starting to rock climb too!

So here’s the thing…  I want to encourage my son to develop a healthy interest in sports but I don’t want to go overboard and push him too hard.  So far I don’t think I’ve been too successful because he’s a rather cautious toddler and don’t venture too far with all those “stunts” that toddlers are famous for.  In some ways it’s been good because we haven’t had to deal with any major bumps or injuries, but then I wonder if he’s just a little too timid.

They say that monkey see, monkey do and perhaps that is why Gavin hasn’t been too adventurous.  I looked at some of those youtube videos and I noticed that the parents look like rock climbers themselves.  Although I used to rock climb with a passion, I haven’t done anything more adventurous than getting on the Wii Board since my son was born.  I wonder if he’s got to see me climbing enough times before he starts to catch on that it’s a really fun activity – in which case it probably means that I should start climbing again.

4 thoughts on “Rock Climbing Toddlers

  1. I never was a climber… not something my family was in to. But when daughter started climbing up our stone fireplace trim when she was 5, we decided to let her try it. She is a champ and got all her own equipment for her 7th birthday. Son is now 3 and while he’s more cautious than she, he has been doing the playground walls for ever and is now starting to do a little at the gym. The thing our local gym told us was that as long as he has a harness that fits, go for it. And, it might give your toddler/preschooler an outlet for that climbing desire… you know, the thing that makes them climb on top of furniture and all those dangerous things. 🙂

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  2. Ah… so there’s still hope for my son 🙂 That’s good. He is starting to show some interest in climbing, although he’s still very much a cautious toddler.

    My parents probably think I’m crazy for encouraging my son to climb, but I think that if they’re going to engage in these “dangerous” activities, then why not teach them how to do it safely?

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Donna!

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