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Fun Rock Climbing Games and Activities for Kids

Rock climbing games and activities are a great way to get your child moving around and having fun. Instead of worrying about them trying specific climbs, let them enjoy themselves differently on the wall.

Whether you run a climbing camp or are a parent of a climber, these four games are perfect for challenging children.

Here are some fun rock rock-climbing games and activities your kids can enjoy.

young girl enjoying outdoor rock climbing


Game 1: Add-On

Players Needed: 2+


This climbing game has a few names but is popularly known as Add-On. It aims to eliminate opponents by making funky, complex, or technical moves on the climbing wall.

By playing Add-On, your child will think of new ways to make climbing moves to be the last one!

How To Play:

There is no maximum number! However, the more players, the harder it is to remember every move. Start by determining the order in which you'll be climbing. You can do this by age, height, or even ape-index!

The first person starts on the wall by grabbing two handholds. (Feet doesn't matter in this game; they can go anywhere).

The next player uses these two handholds and then makes two moves (one with each hand), adding to the sequence. The hand that you must move first depends on the first player. If they grab onto the wall with their right hand first, all subsequent players must make a right-hand move at the start of their additional sequence.

The game is on! Each player must recreate the sequence before them, then add two moves for the next opponent to try. If they cannot make the move required, they are eliminated!

(It's nice to give each child 3 "lives" to try the move).

The game ends when only one climber can recreate the sequence and add on two more hands.


Game 2: Simon Says

Players Needed: 2+


Simon Says is a climbing game of endurance and quick thinking! This game helps children make efficient decisions while climbing to improve their confidence on the wall.

How To Play:

This game is played by two groups: the climbers and the Game Master. The easiest way to play is to look for an area of the climbing gym with many colored boulder problems near each other. Then, have the climbers walk up to the wall and tell them where to place each limb.

For example, a typical Simon Says climbing game looks like this:


Game Master: "Simon says right hand yellow."

Climbers: Moves their right hand to a yellow hold.

Game Master: "Simon says left foot pink."

Climbers: Moves their left foot to a pink hold.


And so on! The idea is to put the climbers in difficult but attainable positions to challenge their movement on the wall. Sometimes, their feet will be near their head, or their arms will be crossed under their legs!


Game 3: The Floor is Lava

Players Needed: 1+


Every child has played The Floor is Lava. Now imagine it while climbing! This bouldering game is essentially just practicing traversing across the gym but adding in friends to push their limits further. (It's secretly endurance training).

How To Play:

This climbing game should only be played when the bouldering area is practically empty. You want to avoid climbing in other people's way, so put off playing in a packed gym.

The idea of this game is simple. Start on one end of a bouldering wall and traverse to the other, around all the lava! You can play with as many players as you like, but make sure you stagger the start times to avoid waiting on each other while hanging on terrible holds.

You can even make this climbing game more challenging by eliminating specific colors! The game is over when all players fail to traverse the climbing wall.


Climbing Game 4: Eliminator

Players Needed: 2+


Eliminator is a climbing game much like Add-On, but instead of adding moves, you're eliminating them! Your child will need to find more effective ways to move their body. It will also encourage them to try more challenging climbs!

How To Play:

Choose a boulder problem that is relatively easy for everyone.

The first person climbs the problem with all the intended handholds except one.

They must eliminate one hold on the problem for the next climber to complete.

The next climber must repeat the problem, using the same handholds as the previous climber, except they will also eliminate one hold.

As this bouldering game progresses, they'll climb much more dynamically and resourcefully to complete the problem. That can be played with as many players as you wish, but the more players eliminating holds between turns, the harder this game will be!

The winner is decided by the last person to successfully climb the boulder problem after all the members have fallen off.


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