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Motor Skill Development Through Climbing and Gymnastics

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

NinjaZone Climb Kid

Here at NinjaZone, one of the most important concepts that we can see in action everyday is when kids gain and USE transferable core skills. If you’ve been around us for a little bit, you’ve likely heard that term.

What exactly are “transferable core skills?”

They are basic, deeply rooted motor skills that will carry kids through other sports, challenging movements, and…well, life. We always go back to the story of the kid that nearly trips and falls, but catches himself and immediately goes into a forward roll. THAT is what we mean by a transferable core skill (and it’s also a true story of one of our Ninjas!).

Climbing and gymnastics are not only a blast for kids, but those particular activities are helping kids develop core motor skills. What skills are we talking? Observe.

Balance. This is important for fairly obvious reasons.

Jumping and landing on different surfaces. This helps the body adapt to an ever-changing environment.

Core arm and leg strengthening.


I can easily trip walking up stairs. I’m thirtyskfjdfhhhh…and my 5 year old is more coordinated than me. I can easily attribute that directly to her gymnastics and dance training.

As for climbing, it can be a scary activity for parents to watch! But, I promise that kids are learning as they climb. What are they learning?

Balance. Again, obvious, but something as simple as using opposite feet to climb does wonders for a child’s balance.


There’s that word again. Moving hands in different places, while mastering foot movement, are instilling a fine motor skill that will follow kids throughout their lives.

Body, spacial, and directional awareness. This is HUGE, and allows kids to understand what their bodies can do, and how they can make their bodies more proficient. Kids are also learning how much space their body takes up, and how much available space is around them.

At the root of the concept of transferable core skills, children are learning through fine motor skills. They are learning how to develop whole body movement, which involves the large core muscles, to successfully perform everyday functions.

Climbing and gymnastics allow kids to fine-tune their learned gymnastic skills, as well as some very important life skills. These skills include: walking, running, sitting upright, kicking, throwing, and catching.

So, the next time your toddler decides to scale the bunk beds, be there. Be there not just to catch if he falls, but to support his curiosity. Be there to witness his instinctual ability to find places to put his hands and feet. Be there for the huge smile that he will have on his face when he reaches the top. Most importantly, be there knowing that even if your heart is in your throat, you’re both coming out stronger in the end.


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