A few days ago I came home to find my son, 7, four or five metres up a tree in the garden. Right at the top where the branches start to thin and soften.
For all the clever technology around coding for children and gamifying learning, much of which is really excellent, I wonder if any of it can teach calculated risk.
Certainly, tree climbing will not help your times tables but it does risk superbly for child and parent. My son was concerned about reaching for the next branch while I had noted that the tree had many limbs that would slow his decent as he fell.
Aloft, arboreal, you look down on the world, keeping it at bay but in sight. Foliage is your cover. Branches are your shelter and your observatory. So it is that, up in tree-tops and tree-houses – dens with attitude, dens with altitude – generations of children have found retreat, relief, and adventure.