Task: Find an excellent tree and climb it!
- Good shoes or bare feet
- Cuts and scrapes
- Bumps and bruises
How It All Went Down:
There is something about a tree that just begs you to climb it. For kids, climbing a tree is more than just fun (although, ultimately, that’s what makes it so appealing). Scaling a tree teaches them vital lessons, such as dexterity, risk assessment, focus, and planning. They have to decide how high they’re comfortable climbing, the best way to get there, which branches look sturdiest, and figure out how to get back down. A successful climb builds confidence, gives them a sense of freedom, and helps them appreciate nature. An unsuccessful climb has the most valuable lesson a child can learn: how to pick themselves up and get right back at it again.
If you’re new to tree climbing, be sure to start small. Climb up a few branches, then climb back down. Climbing is fun, getting stuck – not so much.
We are always in search of good climbing trees. You know what would be awesome? A tree climbing directory. How cool would it be to be able to search for trees that are just begging to be scaled? Gever Tulley has a great suggestion. Since you can’t always find a tree to climb when you really want one, keep an eye out for trees that are good climbing candidates. Make note of where they are so that when the urge strikes you know right where to find them. Then be sure to share them with the rest of us!
Did you climb trees as a kid? Do you let your kids?
You can read about the rest of our experiences with 50 Dangerous Things. Inspired by Gever Tulley’s book 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do).