Climbing Activity of the Month: One Hand Catch-N-Climb


A simple game of catch gets more interesting when one person is on the climbing wall!



Materials needed: Balls (one per climbing panel)

Advance Prep: Give balls to non-climbers

Grade Level: 3 and up

Grouping: Whole group


This activity is a fun way to add some tossing and catching challenges to the climbingGirl catching red ball while on a rock climbing wall experience. It involves climbers and non-climbers. The number of participants depends on the size of the climbing wall. Ideally, the activity includes one climber and one non-climber per 4-foot wide climbing panel. Therefore, if you have a 20′-wide traverse wall, this activity engages at least 10 participants. A steady stream of climbers on and off the wall increases this number.

Position non-climbers at the edge of the mats, approximately one every 4 feet. They will be tossing the ball to climbers as they climb by. Climbers line up at one end of the climbing wall and start climbing one at a time. When they get to a position where they are across from a tosser, they should stop climbing, turn and catch the ball and toss back. The toss can be overhand or underhand.


  • This can be a partner activity using just one panel section.
  • Try balls of different shapes and sizes.
  • Have participants keep a mental count of how many successful catches they have and work to improve.

Teaching Tip: Since climbers are periodically stopping to catch and throw, be sure they know that they may need to adjust their climbing speed based on what’s happening with the climber ahead of them. Climbers should try to keep the spacing of one climber on each climbing panel.

National Standards: 1,2,3,4 & 5

Grade-Level Outcomes: 

  • Nonlocomotor (S1.E7, S1.E8, S1.E10)
  • Manipulative (S1.E13,S1.E26)
  • 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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