Climbing requires increased balance and coordination to complete daily activities such as climbing the stairs. As this skill develops, children are able to navigate climbing equipment safely and climb down backwards (eg facing the ladder). Keep reading to find out how the skills for climbing emerge and the games you could play to encourage skill development.

Building blocks for climbing

Simple clambering over objects on the floor with growing upper body strength

Simple climbing

Negotiating small steps and slopes – learning to go down backwards with body close to surface

Advanced climbing

Climbing playground equipment with ease and ability to safely climb back down


  • Clamber up stairs and back down again

  • Climb onto an adult chair, turn and sit down. Safely get back down again backwards

  • Manoeuvre quite safely around a soft play environment, negotiating small steps and slopes and learning to go down backwards with body close to surface

  • Climb easy apparatus at nursery or in the park.


  • Climb ladders and trees quite well


See what activities can help to support this core skill.

See Activities