While it is true that ladder climbing is a great way to help your child stay physically fit, it can also be dangerous, especially if done incorrectly. Parents who want to teach their kids how to climb vertical ladders have to get the technical skill right as well as help their children overcome the fear of climbing ladders.
Benefits of Climbing Exercise Ladders
There are numerous benefits when a child learns how to climb vertical ladders and frames. Climbing ladders helps children to gain climbing confidence and not be scared of heights. Climbing ladders is also useful in helping kids gain physical strength as the process involves pulling themselves up the ladder. Another benefit of ladder-climbing for children is the fact that it helps them develop problem-solving techniques that are immensely useful later in life. Finally, ladder climbing helps a child to learn how to take risks and to push their boundaries.
With that in mind, here are some of the techniques that you can use to teach your child how to climb vertical ladders such as those found in child play gyms.
Offer a Demonstration
Children learn by watching how other people do something and therefore a demonstration helps the learning process. In the beginning, demonstrate how to hold the ladder with both hands and how to put both legs on the first step. When this is done, invite your child to try and copy you. Keep doing this until the child is comfortable with this first step.
Move to The Next Step
The next stage is to demonstrate movement to the next step. After this invite the child to try and move to the next step, and then the next one. If the child is hesitant, do not push them too hard. Instead, let them internalize the process and overcome their fear barrier. At the same time, offer praise/motivation for each step the child makes.
When the child gets to the top of the ladder, you must then show them how to come down safely. You can choose to do this by offering a demonstration (if you feel that this approach is working) or you can choose to help them down.
When you are teaching your child how to climb up and down a ladder, you must ensure that the right safety measures are undertaken. This means ensuring that you get the right ladder for the child so that the gaps between the steps are just right. At the same time, you must ensure that the ladder is firmly in place and if you are in doubt, hold it in place while the child climbs. For added safety, you can place a foam mat underneath the ladder to ensure that any accidental falls are taken care of. Ensure that the child does not use the ladder on his own until you are confident that he has mastered the art of ladder climbing.
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