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Are Climbing Frames Worth It?

Are Climbing Frames Worth It?

Discover the benefits of climbing frames for children and their physical development and decide are climbing frames worth it and if you should get climbing frames or other climbing equipment for your playground.  

Outdoor play areas are crucial for children’s development and well-being. Not many people necessarily consider investing in outdoor climbing equipment and climbing frames for their outdoor space, so let’s explore why investing in outdoor activity areas matters

1. Physical Development: 

  • Skills: Outdoor play allows children to learn physical skills that may be challenging to practice indoors. Activities like jumping, climbing, cycling, skating, and team sports contribute to their physical abilities.  
  • Autonomy: Unstructured outdoor play encourages independence and decision-making. Children can direct their own activities, fostering autonomy.  
  • Risk Management: Navigating minor risks outdoors teaches them how to handle different situations and boosts confidence.  

2. Mental Well-Being:

  • Creativity: In less familiar environments, children think creatively about play. They invent games, use their imagination, and explore new play equipment.  
  • Problem-Solving: Unpredictable outdoor settings encourage problem-solving. Children learn to adapt and find solutions.  
  • Connection to Nature: Exposure to plants, animals, and sunshine positively impacts mental health.  

3. Social Interaction:

  • Cooperation: Playing with others teaches cooperation. Children work together to decide games or share space. 
  • Friendships: Time outdoors provides opportunities to make friends. Social interactions enhance emotional well-being.  

4. Health Benefits:

  • Reduced Sedentary Lifestyle: Outdoor play counters sedentary habits and promotes physical activity.  
  • Health Equity: Access to nature is essential for health equity. It reduces the risk of various health conditions.  
  • Knowledge: Being in natural environments teaches children about the world.

5. Decline in Outdoor Play:

  • Unfortunately, outdoor play has declined significantly in Western countries over the past few decades.  
  • Less outdoor play is linked to a more sedentary lifestyle, disconnection from nature, and lower ability to navigate unfamiliar environments.  

6. Urgent Investment Needed:

  • Policymakers should prioritise funding public playgrounds. These spaces improve movement, social interaction, fitness, and physical and mental health for a kid.  
  • Playground provision is not a luxury; it’s essential for millions of children’s current and future well-being.  

In summary, investing in outdoor activity areas, especially climbing frames, ensures that a child will progress holistically, stay active, and thrive emotionally. Let’s create more opportunities for outdoor play! 

What Is A Climbing Frame and What Are The Benefits of Having One?

A climbing frame is a piece of playground equipment made up of different materials like metal or wood poles, bars, and ropes or nets that children can ascend on and explore.

6 children playing on a Bowfell climber, created by Pentagon Play. This image shows how our climbing equipment is made of a wide variety of durable materials.

These climbing frames come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small wooden structures to larger, more complex ones with slides, swings, and other fun features. Let’s delve into why outdoor climbing frames are valuable for children’s development. 

Climbing Frame Benefits:

1. Physical Benefits: 

  • Muscle Strength: Climbing frames help build muscle strength in children. As they go up and down the structure, swing from monkey bars, and explore various features, their arm and leg muscles get a workout, contributing to physical development.  
  • Improved Gross Motor Movement: Gross motor skills are essential for physical development. Climbing frames require children to use their arms and legs to navigate the structure and tackle the physical challenges, enhancing their hand/eye coordination and movement skills.  

2. Cognitive Benefits:

  • Problem-Solving: Outdoor climbing frames encourage problem-solving. Children must figure out how to ascend, balance, and explore different parts of the frames.  
  • Decision-Making: Choosing routes and deciding where to climb fosters decision-making skills.  
  • Visualising Solutions: When faced with challenges on the frame, children learn to visualise solutions and adapt their movements. 

3. Emotional Development: 

  • Resilience: Overcoming obstacles and mastering climbing techniques can build resilience.  
  • Regulation Emotions: Climbing frames provide a safe space for children to manage emotions and cope with challenges.

4. Imagination and Creativity: 

  • Exploring climbing frames and climbing equipment sparks the imagination. Children invent scenarios, play games, and create their own adventures.  

In summary, whether it's metal climbing frames or wooden climbing frames, large climbing frames offer a stimulating environment for children to progress physically, cognitively, and emotionally. They’re not just play structures; they’re tools that help children reach their full potential. (Chloe Martell, 2023)

10 children all playing on the Whinlatter Climber, designed and installed by Pentagon Play

Pentagon Play's Climbing Frame Range:

Pentagon Play has an exciting and varied range of outdoor climbing frames and outdoor climbing equipment. We have years of experience in understanding children's preferences when it comes to building the best climbing equipment. Here are a few that could enhance both your outdoor activity area as well as your children's development. 

1. Grizedale Forest Circuit:

Pentagon Plays’ Grizedale Forest Circuit is a one-of-a-kind wooden climbing frame.  It features numerous crossing and traversing points for the kids whilst at the same time presenting obstacles for them to overcome.

Children will therefore be absorbed in traveling around and through this entertaining classic climbing frame. It enhances children’s concentration as they tackle each element of the circuit, as well as increasing their enthusiasm and excitement levels.  

10 children playing on the Grizedale Forest Circuit climbing equipment, made by Pentagon Play

Made out of high-pressure treated timber logs and reinforced ropes, the Grizedale Forest Circuit wooden climbing frame presents a series of pathways for the children to navigate across. With some pathways being more difficult than others, children can choose what circuit they want to follow, as well as the different travel combinations that they can choose from. 

This is a suitable climbing frame for whole class activities, no matter the age. While at the same time testing out their stepping and balancing, reaching, and stretching, gripping and grasping, pulling and pushing, hanging and swinging, climbing and jumping skills.  

2. Harter Fell Climber With Platform And Climbing Net:

This wonderful and eye-catching low-level kids climbing frame is ideal for EYFS children and their outdoor play areas, making an instant impact on any child’s life. The materials used to make this are of the highest quality and durability is ensured.

As a fun focal point for imaginative games, children can be creative and use the climbing frame as a focal point for their games and activities. With traversing logs and ropes, scrambling nets, a climbing wall, a wooden hideout, and a den area, this climber offers multiple routes and crossing points for children to run wild!

A group of 5 children playing with the Harter Fell Climber product from Pentagon Play

While at the same time allowing the children to gain confidence in climbing and developing key physical skills such as upper and lower body strength, balance, coordination, core stability, and gross and fine motor skills. 

Children can use both the wooden hideout and the space underneath it to create dens, and imaginative areas or use it just as a quiet place to take some time out.  

The Harter Fell Climber is a wonderful resource to foster friendships and improve their communication and social skills whilst at the same time playing. Children will learn how to work together to take turns, share, wait their turn, and communicate and problem-solve together whilst they climb, scramble, and step across this entertaining and varied outdoor climbing frame.  

  1. Crinkle Crags Climber: 

Crinkle Crags Climbing Frame is one of 4 variants in this outdoor climbing frame range and is a massive child-pleaser! Children (even “big kids”) want to have a go at this fun challenging climber course. See how the children’s enthusiasm and excitement levels rise as they figure out different ways to balance, step and maneuver themselves through this fun climbing frame.  

The Crinkle Crags Climber is Pentagon Plays’ largest and most challenging outdoor climbing frames with numerous different crossing and traversing points. Children can enter and exit the Climber at any point to start a new climbing challenge. Whether they want to stay at a low level or climb high – it's up to them to make that decision and challenge themselves in a safe and controlled way. 

11 children playing on the Crinkle Crags Climber, a climbing frame produced by Pentagon Play.

Ideal for individual and group work, where can children work on their own or in groups to traverse the climbing frame to support each other and develop problem-solving, communication, teamwork skills and build their self-confidence.

The Crinkle Crags Climber is suitable for encouraging personal independence and teamwork as well as foster positive attitudes towards challenges. Thus, creating a positive atmosphere at school where children can communicate and develop their friendships outdoors and bring positive behaviour and focus back inside the classroom.  

Summary

In summary, children’s climbing frames and outdoor climbing equipment contribute significantly to children's physical, mental, and social development, making them an essential part of school playgrounds. Whilst they breath in fresh air, they'll be giving their body and mind great exercise.

20 children stood on the Tryfan Climber product, waving at the camera

For more information on the huge range of Pentagon Play’s Climbing Frames and how you can get your own climbing frame, contact one of our team or email Pentagon Play, where one of our expert advisers will be happy to help!

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