Climbing Wall Activity of the Month: Climbing in the Night


Participants climb the traverse wall while blindfolded.

Grade Level: 4 and up

Grouping: Partners


  • Blindfolds or bandannas, one per partnership

Advance Set Up: None


Prior to beginning, review proper spotting technique with participants. Next, divide the group into two-person teams. One person is the blindfolded climber and the other is the sighted guide. The sighted guide starts the activity by carefully leading the blindfolded climber to the start of the wall. Through a series of verbal instructions (see tips) given by the sighted guide, the blindfolded climber gradually makes his/her way across the Traverse Wall. The sighted guide is responsible for the physical safety of the climber; therefore it is imperative that accurate information is clearly communicated and that constant attention is given to the climber. At all times, the sighted partner should remain close to the climber, spotting and making sure that the climber never climbs above the three-foot height limit. When the climber reaches the end of the wall, the guide should help him/her climb down. Partners then switch roles.

Variation: To decrease challenge, have climbers close their eyes (no blindfolds) and give them three strikes, or three opportunities to open their eyes during the activity.

Teaching Tip: In advance of the activity, review some ideas for verbal cues/instructions, for example:

  • Suggest what body part should move to help locate a hold:
    • Move your right foot down a little.
    • Move your left arm up and to the right.
  • Use directions and distance:
    • There’s a great foot hold about 6 inches to the right of your right hand.
    • There’s a great hand hold about 12 inches above your head.

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)

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