Add On - A Great Leap Year Climbing Game

Add On - A Great Leap Year Climbing Game

Did you know that this year is a leap year? That means that February will have 29 days, not its usual 28. It takes the earth about 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to circle around the sun once. Sometimes, we need to add a day to our 365-day calendar, otherwise we would lose close to 6 hours a year and the months would no longer align with the seasons as we have become accustomed.  

Fun Facts About Leap Year

  • To qualify as a leap year, a year must be divisible by 4. If it ends in 00, it must be divisible by 400.
  • Leap year happens approximately every 4 years. The above math explains why it’s not always every 4 years.
  • Julius Caesar, a Roman general and statesman, introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C.E.
  • People born on Leap Day (February 29) are called “leaplings” or “leapers.”
  • Chances of being born on Leap Day are 1 in 1,461.
  • There are 4 billion leapers in the world.
  • Leapers celebrate their birthdays on February 28 or March 1 on non-leap years.

Since we are adding a day to this month, we thought that trying the game of “Add On” with your climbers would be a fun way to honor the day.


Climbers traverse the climbing wall by repeating and adding onto each other’s moves.

Grade Level: 

4 and up


Small groupsdivided into groups of 3 participants


  • Gaffers Tape or cones

Advance Set Up: 

Using tape or cones, divide your climbing wall into three or four-panel sections. For example, if you have a 40’ wall, you will create two 3-panel sections and one 4-panel section.


Create groups of 3 people. Each group will be given a section of climbing wall on which to climb. Have each group decide who will be the first, second and third climber.

The first climber gets on the wall and does three moves. These moves must be distinct and involve no more than three hand or foot holds. Then s/he climbs down and the second climber repeats the moves of the first climber and adds one additional move, after which s/he climbs down. The third climber then gets on the wall, repeats the moves of the two previous climbers and adds one more move. The routine continues for as long as the group can manage. When they reach the end of their panel section, they can reverse direction. If at any point in time a climber cannot complete the series, simply have that climber step down and have the next climber in the rotation try. Encourage the climber who missed on his/her attempt to try again when it is his/her turn.


To simplify the activity, use tape to mark the holds that are used or have one person point out the holds that should be used.

Teaching Tip: 

Set the expectation that participants should support and encourage one another, rather than compete.

National Standard(s): 

1,2,3,4 & 5

Grade-Level Outcomes: 

  • Nonlocomotor (S1.E7, S1.E8, S1.E10)
  • Movement concepts (S2.E1, S2.E2)
  • Engages in physical activity (S3.E2, S3.M3, S3.M4, S3.M5)
  • Personal responsibility (S4.E1, S4.E2, S4.M1, S4.M2)
  • Working with others (S4.E4, S4.M4, S4.M5)
  • Rules & etiquette (S4.E5, S4.M5, S4.M6)
  • Safety (S4.E6, S4.M7)
  • Challenge (S5.E2, S5.M3)


Leave a comment