May
03
2011

  W Climbed the Rope Ladder

W has been climbing the regular ladder on the far side of the jungle gym for a while now (the hardest part is getting him to stop trying to climb higher than the rungs by just hanging onto the side rails 6' up!), but today was the first time he attempted the rope ladder.

He didn't really attempt it alone, he was uneasy about the way it wiggled around and he had to lean forward to start climbing it, but I went over to help and spot him.

First I helped him feel comfortable about leaning over with his feet still on the ground as he held onto the third bar up with both hands. Then I helped him get one foot up onto the first rung, and he pretty much took it from there. Although he did NOT feel comfortable if I let go of him, and did the worst thing under the circumstance which was let go of the ladder to reach back towards me, so I decided to not test him further and once I got him to hang on again I kept my hands on him so he'd feel secure.

But he never really needed much support, he was always firmly holding onto the ladder (except that once when I let go and he reached for me). He did need a little help finding the rungs with his feet on the way back down, since the ladder sloped backwards so he couldn't just look down and see his feet, and that was something new for him. But he climbed up all the way to the top, and climbed all the way back down again, so I'm happy with his new skill.

I'll probably need to spot him for the next 10+ times he climbs until I feel comfortable he's not going to slip and get all tangled in the ropes. But the rungs are close enough together that at least he's tall enough to manage them, it's just his skill and dexterity that need improvement. But I'm glad he now has yet another activity on this playset he can do-- the more amusements we can fit into this one area, the longer I can stay down there with him and kill more time during the day. It will be nice when I finally get the blackboard installed there, too.