It’s within the last year that our Nellie-Rose has taken the monkey bars by storm. Our daughter is a wiry, wisp of a girl. She is determined, fierce in her pursuit of mastering new skills and can draw on a deep reservoir of bravery.
A couple of months before her 5th birthday she came down with monkey bars fever. Since then, when she arrives at a playground she transforms into The Brachiator. Her first order of business is to cast her eyes around to see what climbing fare is on offer and then to jump up and get swinging.
Dangling a couple of feet above the ground, Nellie-Rose maintains her practiced grip until she creates sufficient forward momentum with her lower body to release the grip with one of her hands to grab the next rung. She’s got it down to a science now and is capable of navigating every monkey bar obstacle course we’ve come across in our travels.
Let’s be clear, not all monkey bars are created equal. There are ring and triangle grips suspended on chain links, circular hoops, ascending and descending tracks, domes and any number of other variations.
Nellie-Rose does have some favourites – Bois Joli and South Woodside Elementary School in Dartmouth and what we call the Fire Truck playground in Cole Harbour. There’s also a set she’s discovered through big brother Noah’s soccer at Bel Air Elementary School. She was very proud and pleased to take grand-maman and grand-papa there to demonstrate her prowess during a recent visit they made from Quebec.
Mastering this kind of equipment at an early age gives kids a chance to assess their own abilities, get comfortable with risk and celebrate their achievements. Now I do admit that when she took her first tentative monkey bar sorties at the tail end of 3, I was in helicopter mode. I’ve left that far behind and now trust Nellie’s confidence and ability to carry the day.
Check out Halifax Plays FB for a photo Gallery of local monkey bars. If you’ve come across any funky monkey bars either here or away, send pics with information on the location. We’ll share them with our readers here or on FB.
Ok folks, swing you later….