Climbing Activities for Rainy Indoor Recess Days

Climbing Activities for Rainy Indoor Recess Days

When the weather prevents outdoor recess, and the gym is available, having the climbing wall open helps make the best use of indoor recess. Students will have fun and get some physical activity. Be sure whomever is supervising the climbing wall has been trained on its use and safety protocols. You’ll also only want to do this with students who have previous climbing experience and understand the safety rules and protocols. Here are three activities that require minimal preparation and will turn those rainy-day frowns upside down!


Climbers must eliminate one color of hand hold and still make their way across the climbing wall.

Grade Level: 2 and up

Materials: None, but assumes your climbing wall has multiple colors of hand holds

Advance Set Up: None


Before climbing, have climbers decide on a color of hand hold to eliminate from their climbing route and have them give it a try. For example, if they decide to eliminate red holds, they should climb without using any of the red holds for their hands and feet and try to make it all the way across the wall. If they don't make it, have them try again. Once successful, have them try it again with a different color eliminated.


  • To make this less challenging: Have climbers eliminate one color for their hands and use any hold color for their feet.
  • To make this more challenging: Have climbers eliminate two colors of hand hold.


If your climbing wall includes Everlast Climbing Route-Setting Hand Holds, it may be helpful to reference our past blog post that explains the color-coded hand holds.

Bean Bag Challenge

This activity encourages careful, smooth and controlled climbing.

Grade Level: 2 and up


  • Beanbags, one per climber

Advance Set Up: None

Activity: Participants are challenged to climb with a bean bag balanced on their head. If it falls off, they restart the climb. The goal is to make it across the entire length of the traverse wall without having the bag fall off.

On Thin Ice

Climbers are challenged to avoid areas of “thin ice” on the climbing wall.

Grade Level: 2 and up

Materials: Bungee cords, string or tape (preferably Gaffers’ tape)

Advance Prep: Use bungee cords, string or tape to mark off areas that will be “thin ice,” or areas that cannot be used for climbing. The cords and string can be wrapped around several holds to create imaginary areas of challenge. Keep safety in mind as you space the areas so that there are clear opportunities for climbers to climb over, under and around thin ice to get from one side of the climbing wall to the other.

Activity: Climbers must try to make it all the way across the climbing wall while abiding by these rules: 

  • The climber’s feet or hands cannot touch any part of thin ice (border and interior space).
  • Regular climbing wall safety rules still apply.
  • If the climber breaks any rule, s/he must return to the starting point and try again.


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