Rock Climbing With Kids

by Kade 26. May 2010 09:32

 

Kid Rock Climbing

Kids love to climb. Whether it's all over Dad, up ladders, or between the door frame, kids just love it.  Introducing your children or child to rock-climbing at a young age can help you spend a lot of quality time together as your child grows.  Think of the great conversations you'll have with your teenager as you trap them in the car on the way to a crag.  Where better to talk about the birds and bees than out in nature?

Here are some tips to get you and your kids rock-climbing:

  1. Take a rock climbing class together. This has many benefits and not just for climbing.  your children will see that Mom and Dad can take direction too.
  2. Set the rules.  Rock-climbing can be very dangerous and it is important for all climbers to know and follow the rules.  Set consequences and follow through if the rules are broken.
  3. Start small and work up. After having lessons, try a free climbing at a rock wall gym. This will give you time to practice together with your kids. 
  4. Don't expect too much.  Children will often show enthusiasm for rock climbing and then decide it is too scary to climb higher than 3-4 feet. Don't force the issue.  Just praise them for how high they went and challenge them to get a foot or two higher.
  5. Teach them climbing terms. If you take a rock-climbing class with your children, you'll probably learn these, but re-teach them before you climb just to make sure you are all on the same page.  "On belay" "Climbing" "Slack" "Tension" "ROCK!"
  6. Find helmets that fit.  A good helmet is very important when rock-climbing.  Make sure your child has a helmet that fits and is not damaged.
  7. Double check harness and make sure your child is big enough for it.  Before you leave to the wall, make sure your child fits the manufacturers suggested weights and sizes for the harness they will be wearing.  Before your child starts to climb, double check the harness is set properly. 
  8. Chalk up.  Children love to get their hands dirty especially when Mom and Dad are doing it as well.  Plus it helps when you're rock climbing.
  9. Get some rock climbing shoes.  Climbing shoes should fit snug, but not too tight.  You don't necessarily need to buy new.  Look for used ones on gear surplus sites, or rent shoes from a local shop.
  10. Celebrate accomplishments and have fun.  That's why you go!

Children's climbing harnesses from Altrec.com

Children's climbing harnesses and helmets from Backcountry.com

Some of the topics covered here definately do not go in to great detail.  Harnesses, helmets, and shoes could each have their own post about the proper kinds and how to purchase.  Do your homework and you'll enjoy the time you spend rock climbing with kids.  

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Family | Gear | Rock Climbing

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