When most adults think of parkour, they think of guys with their hats on backwards jumping off ten-story tall buildings onto the cold hard pavement. 

But while that kind of parkour makes for a great YouTube video, it doesn’t necessarily reflect all parkour. In reality, parkour is just the formal name given to what your children are already accustomed to doing: climbing trees, jumping on and off playground equipment, hopping from rock to rock at the park and swinging across the monkey bars. 

For example:

That image induces significantly less anxiety than what you might be accustomed to seeing when you hear “parkour.” 

(NOTE: You can check out dozens of available Parkour Classes to help your little ones get active, here)

“All that sounds very nice” you might be thinking. “But I’d rather not let my child engage in an activity that could result in a trip to the ER, thank you very much.”

You’re smart to wonder if parkour is really safe for children. But before you say no the possibility, consider these benefits of parkour for kids:

1. Good health & strength

If you’ve ever watched American Ninja Warrior, you’ve seen how jumping and leaping from place to place and hanging with your fully body weight suspended below builds tremendous strength. And in a world where children have more and more opportunities to sit and do nothing, parkour is a fun and easy way to get the little ones out and active. 

They might get bored of going “to the park…”

But what if you turned your average trip to the park into a “race” across the monkey bars, through the winding tunnels, down the spinning slide and across the grass field? 

That’s parkour.

2. Problem solving

Perhaps the greatest example of parkour in child-hood history is this: 

THE FLOOR IS LAVA. 

You’re standing on the couch or kitchen chairs when suddenly, the floor of your home spontaneously combusts into a dangerous river of molten lava. You now have to figure how to get from the kitchen to your bedroom without losing your limbs in the carpet-colored inferno. 

It’s problem solving at its finest: finding creative ways to get from point A to point B. And parkour might be the best way for your children to learn it. 

3. Balance

We’ve all been that child in gym class that can’t seem to balance straight-up while you’re stretching your quads. But parkour just might help your child be the one who balances for awe-inspiring lengths of time…

4. Confidence

As a child, there’s nothing like being challenged to climb an obstacle and having the confidence that you can. It’s a fantastic feeling. 

Today in the US, there are thousands of indoor gyms and thousands more online classes where children can learn the parkour skills that give them confidence in solving physical challenges. 

Consider the story of Eric (not this child’s real name) who, as a young teenager, went with his friends to a local military base to complete obstacle courses used in military training. It was meant to be a team-building activity where the children could learn communication and problem-solving skills. 

In most of the obstacle courses, there was a box filled with fictitious military supplies that needed to be transported from one side of the course to the other, often over a shallow body of water. 

Eric, having been very active in parkour and parkour-like activities throughout his childhood, felt a rush of confidence and leadership surge through him as he identified various ways his team could navigate the obstacle courses. He directed his teammates in setting up bridges, climbing across narrow ledges and carefully handing off “supplies” to each other. 

Everyone was grateful for Eric’s leadership and skills, and the experience inspired Eric to make healthy, active living a habit for the rest of his life. 

Now imagine that your child is Eric. They, too, can learn that kind of leadership and problem-solving with parkour.

(NOTE: You can check out dozens of available Parkour Classes to help your little ones get active, here)

Anyone can enjoy parkour!

It doesn’t matter where you live — a suburb, a rural town or a busy city…

Any child can learn and enjoy parkour. If there’s a park nearby or an open field or an old tractor tire lying in a field or a floor ready for it’s transformation to hot lava, little kids can find great joy and confidence in learning how to jump and run and roll parkour-style. 

And the best part for parents? Parkour is as safe as you want it to be. Scaling skyscrapers and clearing 10 foot gaps between bridges are not requirements for getting healthy and having fun. 
For dozens of online classes to teach your child parkour, visit our available selection here.

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