Climbing Wall Activity of the Month: Sarah Says

Sarah Says

Climbers try to complete climbing commands while following the rules of the classic children’s game of a similar name.

Grade Level: 2 and up

Grouping: Partners


  • Sarah Says Command Cards, one per partnership
  • Cones to mark panel sections, optional

Advance Set Up: Create your own or download and print the sample command card and have them available for partners. Mark each panel section with cones, if desired.


This is a climbing wall version of the traditional children’s game of a similar name in which commands are given and movements are allowed only if the command is preceded by “Sarah says…” One person will climb (staying on one 4'x8' panel section), while the other is “Sarah” and gives commands. If the climber moves when “Sarah” has not said “Sarah says..,” then the partners switch roles. Otherwise, the partners switch roles when the climber successfully completes 10 commands.

Variation: Add letters, numbers or words next to hand holds and create commands that bring in other learning. For example, “Sarah says touch two numbers that add up to 5” or “Sarah says touch a verb.”

Teaching Tip: It’s fun for partners to try other climbing wall panels because each panel is different and poses unique challenges. Have partners switch after they complete 10 commands, or after a set period of time.

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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