Climbing up the slide is right up there with other age-old controversial parenting issues. Here are seven reasons why you should encourage your child to indulge.
- Climbing up the slide strengthens the arms, legs and trunk
- The sensation of heavy work improves body awareness
- Figuring out how to turn around and slide down is a great motor planning activity
- Alternating arms to climb up improves reciprocal movement
- Children learn how to use their bodies and interact with the physical environment by experimenting and taking risks. The playground is the perfect (and one of the only opportunities) for this
- Figuring out who goes up or down the slide first is a great opportunity for negotiation and social interaction
- It’s so much fun to defy gravity (and the rules!)
Now, to address the danger issue: technically, climbing the ladder to the slide is more “dangerous.” It requires more balance and coordination to climb using two feet than it does to crawl on all fours. Most toddlers can climb up a slide, but not all can climb the stairs. Additionally, tumbling from the steps takes you straight down to the ground. Falling down the slope of a slide is far gentler.