Tag Archives: problem-solving

Benefits of a Climbing Wall

Climbing Wall

Increasingly, science is uncovering the value of one of the most fundamental forms of movement – climbing. Kids and adults don’t just love climbing for the challenge – there are developmental reasons that attract kids to it. Climbing actually plays a role in children’s mental and physical development. In addition to all the physical benefits, it has been shown to improve creativity, memory, and critical thinking abilities.

Here are a few benefits of a climbing wall:

  • A climbing wall enhances problem-solving and decision-making skills. Ascending a climbing route is like putting together a puzzle. Each move requires a decision-making process. Where do I go? What is the best route to get there? Learning to solve problems and think for yourself in the moment (without the help of a glossary or google) is part of learning to make smart decisions, which is a skill set that helps kids in everyday situations.
  • It provides sensory input and improves memory. Psychologists from the University of North Florida found that “proprioceptively dynamic activities like climbing” can significantly improve executive functioning, especially memory. Executive function is important not just for cognitive processing of information, but for behavioral regulation. The study showed that two hours after climbing, participants’ capacity for working memory had increased by 50 percent. WOW!
  • Climbing develops spatial awareness and motor skills.  Not only does climbing build spatial and directional awareness, but it also boosts physical skills such as balance, hand and foot coordination, and agility.  When children use both their hands and feet to maneuver varying inclines and distances between climbing holds, it enhances children’s proprioception, the ability to sense one’s own body’s position and movement in space.
  • It promotes healthy choices and a growth mindset.  Overcoming challenges and fear is fundamental to being successful.  Encouraging kids to leave their comfort zone, keep trying in the face of failure, and to face their fears helps them to see challenges as opportunities to grow.  Challenging situations teach children to believe in themselves. 
  • Climbing develops focus and concentration. Climbing requires attention to task, focus, and discipline to succeed. There is no multitasking when you’re balanced on a narrow foothold trying to find the best route to the top of the wall. No matter what is going on around them, children must stay present and mindful when climbing, by focusing their attention on their hand and footholds.  This builds the mind-body connection (how the movement of the body affects the development of the brain).
  • Climbing is fun. Kids love a good physical and mental challenge.  If you throw in a fun bell to ring when they reach the top they may never leave…
Growth Mindset

Climbing a wall or aerial yoga hammock is a challenge. It promotes agility, flexibility, muscular strength and muscular endurance. We change the hand and foot hold patterns on our climbing wall, which adds a cognitive challenge. The cognitive challenge enhances executive function and builds a growth mindset making it a wonderful addition to our amazing Mindful Child Aerial Yoga Classes. 

References

Alloway, R. G., & Alloway, T. P. (2015). The Working Memory Benefits of Proprioceptively Demanding Training: A Pilot Study. Perceptual and Motor Skills120(3), 766–775. https://doi.org/10.2466/22.PMS.120v18x1

Emami Kashfi, T., Sohrabi, M., Saberi Kakhki, A., Mashhadi, A., & Jabbari Nooghabi, M. (2019). Effects of a Motor Intervention Program on Motor Skills and Executive Functions in Children With Learning Disabilities. Perceptual and Motor Skills126(3), 477–498. https://doi.org/10.1177/0031512519836811

Yoga Code Game

Fun Game of Drawing and Posing

Yoga Code Game

Have fun stretching, breathing, and balancing with The Yoga Code Game! This fun, simple movement game helps children practice yoga poses while increasing flexibility and focus. For this game, family members create and draw a yoga code that is deciphered by other family members. After the code is revealed, family members take turns teaching family members how to do their yoga poses. The poses must be practiced in the order drawn, making it a fun flow challenge. 

What are the Benefits?

The Yoga Code Game encourages yoga pose practice and review.  It builds confidence and enhances memory skills.  Creating and deciphering yoga codes fosters creativity and problem-solving. The Yoga Code game also promotes family connectedness.

Family Yoga

What to Say.

  • On a piece of paper, chalkboard, or dry erase board, draw three or more symbols or pictures that represent yoga poses or breathing exercises.
  • For example, Tree = Tree Pose, Dog = Down Dog Pose, Star = Star Pose, Ocean = Ocean Breath.
  • Once your code is completed, take turns deciphering each others yoga codes by guessing what pose the drawing represents. 
  • The person who drew the code becomes the yoga teacher, instructing the other players how to do the poses and breathing exercises that were drawn. The players must do the yoga poses and breath work in order of how they were drawn.
  • Players take turns being the yoga instructor and practicing the yoga flow creations.

The Yoga Code Game is a fun game for the whole family. It helps children light up their minds and increase their flexibility and strength. If you’d like your child to engage in more games that are good for the brain and body join us for an aerial yoga camp or class.