Anyone else find themselves coaxing children out of trees on a daily basis? If the answer is yes you're not alone, but help is on hand to help us all embrace this classic quest for adventure.
Charlotte from Free Rangers Forest School shares her top tips for staying safe and having fun, helping us all raise a muddy wild happy child! WARNING: you may need to don your climbing boots...
Assess the health and location of the tree with your child. Helpful questions to ask yourselves are : Is the tree suffering from decay? Are there any dead branches? How high do they want to climb? Is it a good location to climb? Is the tree wet or slippery? Are they wearing the right kit?
Try to avoid saying things like “Be careful” (we know...it's tempting!) Instead, use more constructive language like “Remember to concentrate” or “Think about the route you’re taking”.
Admittedly it's not always easy to 'prepare' if they give you no warning (!) but before they start climbing try to discuss with them how high they are thinking of going and what route they’re going to take.
When they get back down ask them how they felt before, during and after the climb. Explain that often our feelings help to keep us safe and so we need to listen to butterflies and nerves because they might mean we need to concentrate a little more or practice easier climbs first to gain in confidence.
Model Good Practice
Put on some sturdy footwear and get up that tree yourself!
Free Rangers Forest School offer nursery places, holiday clubs and overnight camps in Welton, nr Bath, for children ranging from 0-10 years. Say hi to Charlotte and the team over on Instagram @freerangersnursery or visit their website to find out more and buy their not for profit magazine.