Rock climbing is an excellent sport for kids. Overall, it builds strength, confidence, and problem-solving skills. Climbing is fun for kids because it’s a unique jungle gym. But how do you ensure it remains fun through the workouts and the repetitiveness of climbing? Games. Kids need a plethora of different activities within the sport to stay engaged and excited. Below are four other climbing games for kids to keep their psych high.
Add-on is one of the most famous rock climbing games among kids and adults. Let’s say you have a group of three climbers ready to play add-on. The first player hops on the wall and designates starting holds. Then, they move their right hand to a different hold (we will call this “hold one”), take their left hand off the starting hold(s), and then tap the wall. Player two must start with the starting holds designated by player one, move to the next hold designated by player one, and then proceed to another of their choice. Once they grab the next hold (we will call this “hold two”), they must take their other hand off “hold one” and tap the wall. Then player three will move from the starting holds to “hold one” and then to “hold two.” Then, choose a third hold, grab it, and tap the wall. Once player three performs all the moves and then adds one, it will be player one’s turn again.
This game continues until one player fails to perform a previous move or fails to add one. This player is now “out,” and the other players continue until only one remains. This player is the winner.
The players are allowed to utilize any holds for their feet.
Each player must tap the wall after they have added a hold to prove they can hold it with one hand.
This game is best played with climbers of similar ability levels. It’s an excellent game for kids because they are forced to be creative. They must think outside the box of pre-set routes, which helps them start to think outside of the box! That is very beneficial for kids to help with their off-the-wall sequencing. It’s also a great way to bond with their peers and discover creativity.
Tape race is an excellent game for kids because it’s quick but rewarding. It’s a bit like Tag but on a climbing wall. That is how you play. Grab one piece of tape and place it in the middle of a long stretch of a bouldering wall which can be traversed. Measure out equal “starting points” on either side of the tape. Have two kids go at a time, starting at the designated starting holds. On the count of three, have both kids race to the piece of tape. They must grab the tape first and race back to their starting hold if they do. If they do not grab the piece of tape, they must try to catch the other player before that player returns to their starting hold.
Any hand and foot hold is on.
It’s best to have the kids play two rounds and switch sides after one match for “fairness.” This game is great for kids because it’s super engaging, moves quickly so that kids not playing don’t get restless while they wait, and traversing quickly helps build coordination skills on the wall.
Rock climbing twister is incredible for kids but requires a particular wall setup. The wall being used must be dense with all sorts of holds, and you must make a raffle system with each color that coordinates with the holds on the wall. (A raffle system could be a coach/counselor picking which holds is next at random, a hand-crafted spin board, or drawing out of a hat). The game plays like Twister, except the kids are on the wall. For each hold color and limb picked, the players must move that limb to that colored hold. The last player on the wall is the winner.
This game is great for kids because they have to get creative in holding holds and placing their feet on holds. They will also develop body awareness on the wall since they’ll be thrown into uncomfortable and unusual positions. This game also guarantees plenty of laughter!
Keep Them Engaged
There are so many different options for rock climbing games for kids. As long as it teaches them something about climbing and keeps them excited about climbing, it’s a good fit!