Climbing Activity of the Month: Up & Down Relay Race


This is a fast-paced and fun way to use the climbing wall for a competitive challenge. Teams race up and back down the climbing wall.

Grade Level: 3 and up

Grouping: Teams of 2 or 3 people, ideally one team per 4-foot wide climbing wall panel section

Materials: Tape (preferably Gaffers’ Tape)

Advance Prep: Place a tape mark at the exact same height on each climbing wall panel. Be sure to select a high location that participants will be able to reach while still keeping their feet in the climbing zone.

Activity: To begin, teams line up at the edge of the mats across from their designated panel section. At the same time, one person from each team runs to the climbing wall, gets on their climbing wall panel, climbs to and touches the tape mark and then climbs back down to the mat, runs to and taps their teammate who will then run and climb to and touch the tape mark. Repeat for all team members. Each person should climb the panel three times. The first team to complete these climbs wins the race. 

  • Increase or decrease the number of people on each team.
  • Repeat the activity with teams rotating through other climbing wall panels. Since the location of hand holds vary, each panel is different and poses novel challenges.

National Standards: 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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