When our parents met together to plan further playground upgrades, we had a unanimous decision to find a climbing tree for our playground. We have been looking for over a year for a grown climbing tree. We were prepared to pay money, for tree and haulage. Then Anne said "What about the peach tree in the car park!!!!" Bravo - we all love that tree - many school children climb it on their way home from school - and eat the peaches!
Today we explored our Peach Tree - we touched it, climbed it, talked about its roots and what would happen when we move it. We're gonna move the peach tree into the playground and climb it!!
Tree climbing helps children connect with nature. It is a very tactile experience - feeling the rough and the smooth of the branches, the thin and the thick wood, the bendible sticks. Climbing trees provides risk and an opportunity for children to assess their strength and abilities. There are chances to set goals, to climb higher and to discuss safe climbing practices. Trees engage children's imagination as the tree turns into a ship, a mountain, a house. In winter the branches will be bare and easy to climb and see 'forever'. In summer the leaves will provide the perfect hiding places. It will provide shade in the hot sun, leaves to crunch in autum and delicious fruit in spring.
A climbing tree is beneficial for all children's growth and development.