Here are some tips to help to get your younger, and possibly a bit sheepish, kids climbing and having fun doing it:
1. Fix a rope to their back for lowering. Have the kid drag up an extra rope tied to their back. This is helpful for those kids who have a little trouble with the lowering part of climbing. Or like our son, who tends to kick to hard off the wall, rotate, and hit his head. Or our daughter who often doesn’t weigh enough to come back down. We have an extra person (if there is one) help by pulling on the rope and guiding the kid away from the wall if they are having trouble lowering.
2. Find a kid friendly place to climb! Often the routes WE choose are far too difficult for the kids to climb. Find a good place to take them that had an easy approach, a route that can be set up quickly, and is attainable for them. Often we loose our kids just as they wait for us to get everything ready!
3. Make it about them having fun- not you and your agenda. Kids have just as much bouldering, we’ve found. And if they are afraid of the heights part of it- let them explore down low where they are more comfortable.
4. Fix a cow bell at the top! We haven’t actually done this yet- but our church has a climbing wall and they put bells up for the kids to ring when they reach the top. I have been quite astounded how the “ringing of the bell” gets them past their fear or discomfort and to the top. Who knew?!?