Monkey bars may seem daunting at first, but putting your child to the test and letting them try out something new can help build their confidence as they master a new skill. Not only do monkey bars boost a child’s self-esteem, they are also a great way of building core strength, improving balance and developing motor skills.
Climbing the monkey bars in a playground has always been a rite of passage for young children. These tall metal frames take practice, time and determination to conquer. As a parent, there are techniques you can use to help your child conquer their fear of these cold frames, and ultimately, help them enjoy their playground experience while improving their motor skills at the same time.
Developmental Steps to Conquering Monkey Bars
- First, ask your child to hold on to one rung of the monkey bars while dangling their feet. Encourage them to hang on as long as they can. This builds their grip strength as well as their upper body strength. Cheer them on while they are doing this as words of encouragement and praise will boost their self-confidence.
- Next, encourage them to swing their legs back and forward, while maintaining their hold on the rung. Swinging gives your child the momentum they will need to move across the rungs.
- Help them coordinate the movement of each arm with the swinging of their legs to allow them to easily reach for the next rung. You may need to support your child by holding them at the waist at this point. Encourage them to reach out with their dominant hand at first. This increases their chances of grabbing the rung.
- After your child has successfully grabbed the next rung, encourage them to bring their other arm to the rung as well. Once they have mastered crossing the monkey bars one at a time, they can learn to alternate hands on sequential rungs. With enough time and practice, they may even be able to skip one or two rungs at a time.
Monkey Bars: There's Nothing to Fear
Monkey bars need not be so intimidating. If your child has a fear of heights, encourage them to keep their eyes on the rung in front of them. Looking down can make your child lose composure but concentrating on the rung will distract them from the fear. Remember, practice makes perfect, therefore, encourage your child to be active. An indoor playground or home gym equipped with monkey bars is a good place for your child to hone their skills on the monkey bars.
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