Most people seemed surprised when I mention Parkour and childcare together. I’m sure that they imagine dangerous stunts and reckless behaviour that is completely inappropriate for a childcare environment.
To be honest, that was my reaction too when my teenage son first engaged in this activity. I warned him never to practice within view of any of the children or even talk about it when they were present.
Then, I spent some time watching him practice and listening to him and researching the topic on my own…and I changed my mind.
Sure it entails running, jumping, climbing and a bit of acrobatics but the focus is on control and precision. Instead of being competitive it involves collaboration, responsibility and play. In fact, the more I learned about it the more I thought – this is a great activity for children!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’d encourage toddlers to jump off buildings but the basic skills training can be adapted for all ages – and they think it is fun to exercise.
All summer my son has been playing in the yard with us and showing the children some of the skills and training he can do in our small space. The children are practicing and learning about spatial awareness, balance and their own physical abilities. They are setting personal goals, problem solving and overcoming obstacles. It’s perfect!