How to start climbing with kids without lots of equipment

Are you looking for new ways to get out with your kids? Ever thought of trying bouldering? Read Anna’s story…


Bouldering

Anna and Kids
I’m a mum of two girls, Aimee who is 6 and Tiana who is 4. I recently took up bouldering as a hobby. I love the adrenalin kick and it’s been a really fun form of exercise for me. I’m still very much a beginner but that’s one of the things I love about it. It’s a challenge.

A bouldering mum
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing, but as you don’t use ropes and things it’s not about going too high, it’s usually a maximum of about 8ft walls in indoor centres. It’s more about moving on and across the rock and the same applies if your doing it outside.

I started off by doing an introduction course at my local indoor centre, which I do recommend people do in order to get the basic skills, training and safety precautions. After a few practice sessions there I was talking to an instructor and as I’m new to the area she said I’ve got some rocks in the village that I live in. It’s a place I’d walked at many times but I was never really looking for rocks, usually it was a case of me and the girls spotting for birds or flowers and walking up the big hill.

Climbing across the rockface
So, one sunny day after picking the girls up from school we went for a walk there to go and spot the rocks. Initially I thought I was just going to look for them and come back without the kids to have a go and see what they are like. However, once they spotted them they wanted to be up there climbing them too.

My oldest was off up the rock face like a rocket

I informed them of a few safety things to be aware of and let them have a go. My oldest was off up the rock face like a rocket. She was climbing the wall like she’d been doing it for years. My youngest was a little more nervous and as she’s only four I managed to find her a nice little bit of rock that she could climb up but still be within arms reach so that if she got stuck I could help get her down.

they still wanted to climb more

We all took turns climbing whilst the others would spot for us, letting us know about good hand or foot holds. We ended up spending about 2 hours there and they still wanted to climb more.

Building Confidence
It’s now a hobby that isn’t just mine, but something we can do together out and about enjoying nature and the world around us.

I think it’s a great hobby for kids, as long as they are able to listen and follow instructions to keep them safe. Which is why I think it’s important for the parent to go and learn those things first to pass on to their children. But I’ve found that climbing has helped my kids gain confidence as well as develop problem solving, communication and probably a whole load of other skills.

It’s fun, it’s a challenge and it’s a way to get outside and enjoy nature like no other way can.


Want to know more about bouldering?

Here’s some links if you want to read more about taking up bouldering.

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Anna loves nature, being outside, boho clothes, festivals, music, climbing, yoga and trying new things. An adventurer and thrill seeker by heart with little to no patience...and two daughters.

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