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Climbing games for youngins.


Original Post
T. William · · Avon · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 85

I'm working with approx. 6-8, kindergarten/first graders, totally new to climbing. What are some 10-15min climbing games we could play? They practice for two hours each week. Typical night looks like this.
Kids show up, find shoes that fit and then work on traversing the wall. After warming up, we stretch a bit then play a game (usually climbing related or something used to help teach a lesson (ex. quiet feet, means being like a ninja...not a pirate.) Then snack and then top roping. Any suggestions for games or just plain advice on coaching small children. Thanks M.P.

Kari Post · · Keene, NH · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 96

One game we've done is Copy Cat. So a person starts on the wall and makes a move then hops off. Next person starts in the same position, copies the move, then adds one. And so on and so on. The game is played at bouldering height and if you have a big enough wall/cave and enough supervision you can have multiple games going on at once, so that each group only has 2-4 climbers. Trying to play one round with a large group means the back of the group has to do 6-7 moves just to get in the game and isn't really fair, although if the wall is easy enough and well within the abilities of the group it matters less.

I've also considered a scavenger hunt where I tape/hide prizes, clues, or raffle tickets to the wall or hidden in holds, but that requires a LOT of prep work, so I haven't actually done it.

I teach climbing to kids and teens and would LOVE more game suggestions. I'd love if you could share some of the games you play. Feel free to send me an email.

Finn The Human · · The Land of Ooo · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 106

At my gym we play a version of Marco Polo with the kids. One kid is blindfolded and walks around trying to tag the other kids that are on the wall. If the kids on the wall get tired, they can jump off and run across the room to a different hold, but if the blindfolded kid yells, "Monkey off the wall," while someone is on the ground, they are out. Otherwise the game plays just like marco polo.

Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,110

somebody made holds a few years back that would hold hula hoops and foam noodles. they were great for crawling through, as low level obstacle course, which you could time as a race. Fix up your own version if you can't find these old holds...kids love it.

Edward Pyune · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 625

Take away. A group agrees on a start and finish hold and the first person climbs using any holds they want. When the route is completed, they can take away any hold, which is off for the rest of the game. The next person now how to go from start to finish minus that hold. The next person to complete the route can take another hold away, and you repeat the process. It gets really challenging as the game progresses, as you can tell

Jon Zucco · · Denver, CO · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 245
Taylor Ogden wrote:At my gym we play a version of Marco Polo with the kids. One kid is blindfolded and walks around trying to tag the other kids that are on the wall. If the kids on the wall get tired, they can jump off and run across the room to a different hold, but if the blindfolded kid yells, "Monkey off the wall," while someone is on the ground, they are out. Otherwise the game plays just like marco polo.
Woodchuck ATC wrote:somebody made holds a few years back that would hold hula hoops and foam noodles. they were great for crawling through, as low level obstacle course, which you could time as a race. Fix up your own version if you can't find these old holds...kids love it.
If you combine these two games, it is more fun. Everyone has to try and go through an obstacle course while blind folded.
Brian Taylor · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 45

+1 for the foam noodles and monkeys and bananas (that's what we call it instead of marco polo) We do both of those at my gym with the summer camp kids all the time.

Finn The Human · · The Land of Ooo · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 106
Jon Zucco wrote: If you combine these two games, it is more fun. Everyone has to try and go through an obstacle course while blind folded.
That sounds like a recipe for skinned knees, black eyes, and angry parents...
James Crump · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 200

Play Round Room Tag!

Adult Version

Elizabeth V · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 0

At my gym we play a game with our little kids called "Rescue Robbie". It's like hide and seek, but climbing style. The object that's hidden for us is a tiny stuffed koala (named Robbie) that's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. A kid is allowed to hide Robbie in the bouldering section, usually in a jug somewhere on the wall, then once he's hidden, the rest of the team is allowed to look for him and "rescue" Robbie.
The rules are that if you're hiding Robbie, you have to be able to climb to where he's being hidden, coaches can't put him somewhere for them.
Robbie can't be thrown on something or hidden on top of a wall (our walls aren't meant for topping out so Robbie's gone missing in the back sometimes when that rule is broken #saddays).
And kids cannot climb underneath each other if more than one kid discovers where he's been hidden.

Whatever kid successfully finds and rescues Robbie gets to hide him next.

It's a fun way to keep the kids climbing around on the walls, and with a group of 6-10 it usually eats up a good half an hour!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Beginning Climbers
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