When you were little, you climbed on many trees. But when you did it in front of adults, people started going wild and explained to you why you shouldn’t.
You got confused as hell, but in the end, you were forbidden to climb.
Maybe that’s when you said to yourself if you have a baby of your own, you would let him climb on all the trees he wants.
But here you are, being a parent, and explaining to your kid why he is forbidden to climb.
Hey hey easy there.
Just because you were robbed of the fun during childhood, doesn’t mean you should rob that fun from your kids. In fact, there are some trees that are ideal for climbing. With some safety equipment, you can totally let your little explorer enjoy the fun.
In this article, we are going to take a look at all the best climbing trees for kids, and all the equipment they can use to reduce the risk of getting hurt.
Why would you even bother to find the best climbing trees for kids?
Babies are natural climbers. There are many benefits that climbing trees can bring to kids.
Kids need to think ahead and make plans to navigate from branch to branch. They have to figure out how to go up and down safely. This will boost their critical thinking and problem solving skills,
When the kids climb with their friends, they have to coordinate and work as a team, from taking turns and choosing their favorite spots along the branches. They will also learn how to cope with others and improve their social skills.
Climbing trees, no matter how short the tree is, is some serious workout. Climbing trees helps kids to develop their muscles, joint, coordination and test their own limits.
No one can rush when focusing on what steps to take, what moves to make to bring their bodies up the branch. It requires great focus and concentration to get the work done.
Explore the world
Spending time in nature is the best way to teach your kids about the world. Not only show them pictures of things, you can let them touch, smell and feel the world. And to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Tips for a safe tree climbing time
Confirm that the tree is safe to climb
The first thing that you, as a parent, need to confirm is your kids’ safety. By avoiding all smallest signs of danger in a tree, and watching your kids closely, then you can let your little one have some fun.
The most important thing to check out, is the roots of the tree. If they are rotting or levering out of the ground, then stay away. Other signs include deep cracks, missing bark, mushrooms or fungus growing on the tree or around the base, dead branches, holes in the base.
Check for other signs of danger
Sometimes the trees are safe to climb, but there are many unwelcome bugs and creatures living on the trees who do not want any disturbance. Ivy, beehives, ants, spiders, etc. must be taken into consideration too, especially if your kid is allergic to any of them.
Consider the species of tree.
Some trees are stronger and better than others when it comes to climbing. Look at the trees’ branches, height and imagine yourself climbing on it. If it seems hard, then maybe you should find another tree.
Go for the lowest branch.
Once you’ve decided which tree to go for, let your little one give it a try. Teach your kid to always go for the lowest branch. If the lowest branch can cause some troubles, then either try it another day or move on to the next tree.
Use those playground muscles.
Once your child has gotten hold of the branch, he will have to pull himself up. This requires great body strength and coordination. Sometimes your kid is not a master in it yet.
Guide him on how to use his muscles to get up the tree.
And make sure you have your own muscles ready and your reaction is at the highest level, to prevent any unwanted scene.
Create a climbing plan
Now that your kid has successfully climbed on the first branch of the tree and plans to go higher. Ask him to create a climbing plan, which branch to go for next, and how to use his body to go higher.
Make sure you calculate the possibility of the plan, so that he will not get hurt. Ask him to make a backup plan, if he cannot reach that branch, then what he would reach instead.
Encourage him to take it slowly, and to look for secure places to put his feet or hands (such as small branches, knots, and holes in the bark). Make sure only the sturdy branches are the one he can lay hands and feet on. A good way to test that a branch is sturdy is to press down on an area of it first to see if it can bear weight.
Don’t forget the ‘Rule of Three’
Introduce some basic climbing rules to your kid to ensure a safe play time. The rule of three is the first and most important one you have to teach. It means always having 3 points of contact when climbing the tree. It can be 2 feet and one hand or 2 hands and one foot.
Don’t climb too high
When you are a small person, even 5 feet is really high. Make sure you tell your kids to not to climb too high, and you are very monitoring closely all the time.
Get down the same way you went up.
As the branches used when your kids climb up were tested for their strength, it is safer to use those branches again when coming down.
And never rush coming down. Even if it rains or he has to poop, safety comes first. Always tell him to take his sweetest time and come down safely and slowly.
Get some safety gears
Even though climbing a short tree in your backyard seems safe, you still should get some safety gears for your kids. It’s better safe than sorry. Make sure you arm your baby to the teeth, from helmet, to climbing harness and rope.
So to find the right climbing trees, I want them to have low and strong branches. Here are the best climbing trees for kids that meet my requirements.
Weeping Willow Trees
Willow trees are great for climbing because the branches growing from a willow tree can be grown low. What’s more, a willow tree makes your garden look artistic.
The weeping willow is the most known and most common of the over 100 species.
The tree will grow up to 50 – 70 feet tall. So if you want to add one of these to your yard, you need to make sure you have enough space.
Not only do they look stunning but also are great for climbing. Some varieties like the Anne E crabapple tree grow branches that are low and even grow horizontally.
This is probably the most common tree when it comes to climbing, A good climbing tree for kids should have a first limb no more than two feet off the ground and additional branches spaced 12 to 24 inches up the stem and radially. Elms, most oaks, mulberries, ash and some maples work well.
Now that it takes great time to grow an oak tree, so if your garden does not already have one, don’t mind planting one for your kids. But if you think of planting one for your future grandkids, that will do too.
Best climbing trees for kids are also best climbing trees for adults
You don’t have to stay on the ground and look up at your kids, getting worried. If you have the energy, this is also your time to let your inner child play while better watch your little one.
Just give it a try, you will be surprised how excited you feel and how relaxing you become.