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Games to Play on a Traverse Wall

Traverse Wall

A traverse wall, often found on primary school playgrounds, is a fantastic resource that can be used to promote physical activity, improve coordination and balance, and enhance problem-solving abilities among young children. These walls, designed for sideways climbing, allow children to experience the thrill of climbing without the height associated with traditional climbing walls or clamber stacks, making them a safe and engaging tool for physical education and playtime. Let's dive into some imaginative and fun game ideas that will not only get the children moving but also foster teamwork, communication, improve motor skills and creative thinking.

Safety First

Before diving into the fun and excitement of traverse wall games, it’s crucial to establish and follow a set of safety precautions to ensure a secure environment for everyone involved.

  • Children should be instructed on the proper way to use the wall, including how to maintain three points of contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) at all times to stabilise themselves.

  • Supervision by an adult is non-negotiable; an attentive adult can provide immediate assistance, ensure that the children are following the safety rules, and intervene if any risky behavior is observed. Additionally, establishing a clear rule that only one child climbs a specific section of the wall at a time can prevent collisions and falls.

  • Children should also be taught to be aware of their surroundings and the safety of others, avoiding crowded areas and waiting their turn patiently.

  • Lastly, regularly inspecting the wall and the holds for any signs of wear and tear or damage is essential to prevent accidents.

By prioritising safety and ensuring these precautions are in place and understood by all participants, children can enjoy the physical and educational benefits of traverse wall games while minimising the risk of injury.

Traverse Wall Games

1. The Floor is Lava

A classic game that never gets old, "The Floor is Lava," can be adapted to the traverse wall to add a thrilling twist. The aim is for the children to navigate from one side of the wall to the other without touching the ground, because famously, the floor is lava. This game encourages strategic thinking as they plan their route and helps improve grip strength and coordination.

2. Climbing Relay Races

Divide the children into teams and have them complete a relay race along the traverse wall. Each team member must touch a designated spot on the wall before returning to the start point to tag the next climber. This game is excellent for promoting teamwork and physical endurance. To spice things up, introduce challenges like only using certain colours of handholds or setting a time limit.

3. Treasure Hunt

Place letters, numbers, or shapes along the traverse wall before the children arrive. Each child, or team of children, must find and collect items from the wall that match a clue or complete a set (e.g., spell a word, a sequence of numbers, or matching shapes). This game not only provides physical activity but also incorporates educational elements, enhancing cognitive skills alongside physical skills.

4. Simon Says Climb

"Simon Says" is a fantastic way to engage children in following instructions while adding a physical twist. Use the traverse wall as the game's focal point, with "Simon" giving commands like, "Simon says, find a red hold," or "Simon says, climb to the left end." It’s a playful way to develop listening skills, attention to detail, and physical agility.

5. Animal Moves

Encourage children to mimic animal movements while navigating the traverse wall. For example, they could climb like a spider, move slowly like a snail, or leap like a frog (albeit sideways). This game not only sparks their imagination but also helps them explore different ways of moving their bodies and using the wall creatively.

6. Climb the Alphabet

This game involves placing letters of the alphabet along the wall. Children then have to climb the wall, touching the letters in alphabetical order. To increase the difficulty level, ask them to spell out specific words instead. It’s a splendid way to combine physical activity with learning, reinforcing letter recognition and spelling skills in an active, engaging manner.

7. Colour Challenges

Use coloured tape or markers to create paths or zones on the traverse wall. Assign each child or team a colour, and they must navigate the wall following only their assigned colour. This game can help with decision-making and strategy, as they may need to plan their route in advance to avoid dead ends.

8. Fitness Combo

Include a traverse wall as part of a fitness circuit. After completing a traverse, children must do a fitness activity before returning to the wall. This could include jumping jacks, sit-ups, or running on the spot. It’s an effective way to keep the heart rate up and introduce children to a variety of fitness activities in a fun, engaging environment. We have a wide range of playground markings and other playground equipment for you to create your own adventures!


Incorporating these games into the primary school setting not only maximises the use of the traverse wall but also ensures that children are actively learning, moving, and developing essential life skills in a fun, engaging manner. It’s about making fitness fun and accessible, encouraging a lifelong love for physical activity and problem-solving. So, why not try one of these games and watch as the children climb, laugh, and learn their way through each challenge?


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