Let Them Be Monkeys! A Fun Climbing Workout for Kids (and Adults)

Part of living in a natural or ancestral way is using what you already have to create the best environment possible. Most of us can squat (hopefully), walk, run, jump, and climb. Fostering these basic skills is a great way to improve your fitness and general well-being. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

How can we apply this with our children? Simple. Think about the things they do all the time that you tell them not to do. Don’t run in the house. Don’t take your shoes off. Don’t climb on the table. Then once you have a nice list, set them free in the wild to do all these things. They’ll be happy and go to bed early, if you’re lucky.

Let’s Play a Game

Or instead of setting them free in the wild, you can provide a little structure. Here are a few games to help your children practice one of those forbidden activities: climbing. Our four-year-old daughter loves to climb on everything: people, railings, dangerous inclines, etc. These games provide a controlled (?) environment where your little ones can climb to their heart’s content.

Peter and I had both done this exercise in fitness classes, and we thought it would be fun to try with the kids. Sure enough, what was supposed to be a quick recording session turned into a night of this:

bradanaacro

Peter and our seven-year-old daughter practicing their acro yoga skills.

bradanaacro2

But before you get to the acro yoga, here’s a nice warm up. The game is simple:

  1. Find a group of adults who are willing to endure a few minutes of being climbed on by a miniature person while in a deep squat.
  2. Link arms and move into a squat.
  3. Cue miniature person to climb up and make his or her way around the circle of cringing adults.
  4. Don’t fall.

If you’re not comfortable having a child crawl all over you while in a squat, you could also do this in a kneeling or half-kneeling position. Or each adult can choose a position they are comfortable in and have the small people try to climb around without touching the hot lava…ahem, ground.

Don’t have enough adults?  Try this game – a challenge for the child’s balance as well as the adult’s (being fairly pregnant doesn’t make it easier, FYI). We call it “The Tower.”

And if your monkey is too young to understand the concept, worst case scenario you get a big hug.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

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