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Review: Toddler Climbing at Clip n' Climb Ipswich

Review by VIP Club Member Susannah Mansfield

My son and I had a wonderful morning at Clip n' Climb Ipswich for their special Toddler Weekday session last Friday.

It was very easy to find on an industrial estate just outside Ipswich and had plenty of parking. The building was vast to accommodate the array of climbing equipment and my son was very impressed and excited by this. As we arrived at the front desk, we were greeted warmly by Tom, who told us where to go and what to do. The toilets and lockers were close to the front desk for easy use before the session. The venue was really clean and well cared for, in fact we watched several members of staff cleaning down the climbing equipment during our visit.

Next Tom and his colleague introduced themselves and got the children into harnesses. Tom was brilliant at building a relationship with my son, using his name and chatting to him throughout this process.  The safety rules were very clearly explained to the parents and toddlers and there was a demonstration of how to attach the harness to the climbing wall.

Safely harnessed up, we were taken into the arena and my excited 3 year old could at last try climbing which was completely new to him.  Each climbing wall was labelled with the level of difficulty and the instructors directed us to the best ones to try out first.  There were Paw Patrol and film characters stuck to the climbing challenges so the toddlers could clamber up and retrieve their favourite.  My son loved this! 

What impressed me the most about the morning was how attentive and encouraging the instructors were during the whole session. They clearly loved climbing, toddlers and their job. My son was helped several times by several different instructors and he was challenged to go just a bit higher by the instructors putting the Paw Patrol character a little bit higher each time. 

There was an excellent ratio of instructors to toddlers and parents and there was always someone around to help. There was also a great atmosphere in the arena just enough toddlers and parents so it felt exciting but not too busy or chaotic. We only had to wait a few minutes for one particularly popular climb but there was always another vacant wall to have a go on while we waited.   

Each toddler was given a lollipop on completing the session and felt a great sense of achievement. Perhaps a better reward for trying having a go at climbing would be a little card certificate and sticker, badge or stamp to collect each time you visit, especially as our session ended just before lunch.

Our session lasted an hour from 11am to 12pm. This was perfect for my 3 year old's concentration and tummy, which was rumbling by the end. My advice would be to arrive earlier and have a snack and drink in the cafe before the session. From the cafe you can see the climbing walls and climbers very clearly which was great entertainment for my son after his session. However, the advantage in visiting the cafe before the climbing session and watching would be to reassure your child as some toddlers may find it strange wearing a harness on a first visit. But beware there is an excellent contained, fun and very clean soft play next to the cafe which my son adored and could have played in for hours.

I would highly recommend these toddler sessions, especially if your child is fearless, energetic and keen to try new things. My son's confidence grew during the session and the smile and pride on his face was wonderful to see. 

There were several toddlers at the session who had been multiple times before. Their bravery was inspiring. They climbed so high in perfect safety. It was great to see tiny people having fun and being physically active. What a great experience!

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