Hi, I agree with the other parents who say let 'em climb and just teach the basic courtesy that when someone's coming down, they get out of the way.
I have kind of a related question, which I think is in the spirit of this thread. What does everyone think about other creative uses of playground equipment?
I.e., my older daughter, now 9, has always been a little daredevil. She learned to do the money bars at 3 1/2, so by about age 5 she was finding it more interesting to climb on top of them and creep across the top. And also, since about age 4, she has loved climbing up and down the tops of enclosed slides.
I have the policy that as long as my daughters are not endangering themselves or inconveniencing or endangering anyone else, anything goes. But some parents seem alarmed when their children try to do the things my oldest is doing.
For example, we were playing at a playground the other day (not a school playground) and my 9yo, and another girl about the same age who had come alone, were clambering all over the tops of the enclosed slides. As I've said, my oldest has been doing this since around age 4, but my younger dd is 4 now and is not quite so coordinated. She saw dd doing it and acted like she wanted to do it, too.
I didn't forbid her, but pointed out what a big drop it would be if she fell, and said she is littler than her sister. And she quickly abandoned it and went on to something else. If she'd persisted in wanting to, I would have stood there to spot check and keep her safe, no big deal.
There were another mother and child there -- he was about 7, and he kept trying to do what my dd and the other girl were doing, and getting upset with his mom because she wouldn't let him. She just kept saying, "They are bigger than you" -- and I kind of wondered what she would've said if it had been a few years ago, since as I've said, my 9yo's been doing this for about 5 years now.
But, anyhow, I assume that she probably is used to insisting on her kids following her rules, and isn't that affected by what other families are doing. It seems like a tremendous amount of work to me -- but I realize other parents may think I was/am creating more work for myself by being willing to spot-check my younger child until she got more coordinated, had she persisted in wanting to do what her big sis was doing.
I see it as more work at the moment, but it pays off as they get more skilled and can do more safely on their own.