Rock climbing is a great activity for children with many benefits which include: strengthening, endurance, coordination and motor planning, bilateral coordination, cognitive skills, problem solving skills, visual skills, and sensory processing. Learn how it specifically helps with the aforementioned benefits:
- Hand, finger, leg and core strength are improved with rock climbing as children must grasp and hang onto climbing holds of all different shapes and sizes. This is a great challenge that requires a lot of strength from the legs to the core, all the way to the hand and fingers.
- Climbing helps develop coordination and motor planning skills as the different shapes and colors of the climbing pieces help create a visual guide for children. This allows for the therapist to give a child instructions for the climb which helps challenge their motor planning abilities.
- Rock climbing is conducive to bilateral coordination as it requires the use of both sides of the body, in an alternating pattern. Children learn how to differentiate between the movements of both sides when climbing, which usually involve right hand, right foot which is followed by left hand, left foot.
- Problem solving becomes a big part of climbing as visual motor/visual perceptual work goes into how to climb up the wall. Meaning, the child needs to consider which climbing hold they will move onto next and how their body needs to be oriented to adjust for the next climbing hold.
- This is an incredible activity in regards to the development and integration of sensory systems. Rock climbing is great for proprioceptive input and for the vestibular experience.
This activity is also great for children who are also struggling ADHD.