Friday, 30 March 2012

Tree Climbing

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree - Sit On It!
In the Urbane Forager’s list of essential skills for young children, tree climbing comes pretty high. Good climbing ability is very useful if you are picking fruit from tall trees and whilst extendable fruit pickers are very useful tools; having a lithe child lobbing fruit down to you is far more entertaining for everyone involved.
High Up With a Hatfull of Walnuts
The sense of achievement gained by scrambling your own way to the top of a tree is difficult to replicate in a playground. Trees are like puzzles, they challenge young minds and allow a level of independence, climbing also encourages personal danger assessment and management.
I Can See Over the Houses
There are potential dangers involved in getting off the ground; weak or dead braches can snap catastrophically and this is especially true in fruit trees so It’s always good to encourage good habits such as always having at least three of your four limbs engaged with the tree at all times.
Build Confidence & Skills Gradually, Train On Easy Trees First
Sometimes children can climb up but fear coming down, so it’s good for them not to overreach their ability too much, especially at first. They should start by working a route just a short way up an easy tree and then work out the best path back down. Knowing that a fall from lower branches can seriously hurt them, will reinforce the importance of safety but generally children seem to be careful by default when up trees.

The Urbane Forager's Early Tree Climbing Exploits
 Under the Watchful Eye of My Brother John

Children often feel very happy clambering amongst the branches, possibly because they can see further, it also promotes athleticism and general confidence. I used to spend ages up in the local trees with my siblings when we were young. We loved to build tree houses and dens, we often took sandwiches along and would probably have happily camped out up there, if only we were allowed.

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