Helping your kids to explore nature-play and the fun in tree climbing

Trees are a free source of many things that delight a stressed adult — serene movement and sounds, coolness, fresh air, dappled light. In addition to all the adult reasons, we need to also recognise why trees are so important for kids. When we ask kids to describe what they’d like their places and spaces to look like, they always, without fail, say more trees. When they draw trees, they draw them tall and grand with huge canopies and usually with birds in them and families under them. Kids intrinsically know the value of trees. Babies are delighted by their gentle movement, bigger kids love the infrastructure they provide for cubbies, nature-based currencies and craft materials. They make the perfect home base for games and imaginary play.

Some kids are lucky enough to know that trees are the ultimate climbing frame. But many don’t know this because we adults have never shared that delightful little secret with them. I suspect that we tend to keep that secret to ourselves as we are scared of risk.

The good news is that there are a few basic things we can do to provide our kids with the joy of climbing and playing in trees that will limit the chances of a fall.

Read Kelsie’s full opinion piece in The West Australian.

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