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Keep apart, but do it with heart

Coronavirus means we have to stay further apart than normal. Find out why, and come up with new ways to live your values.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Device with access to the internet
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • A4 paper
  • Scissors
  • Objects that are roughly the same size
  • Sticky tape or safety pins

Before you begin

  • This is a great activity for an online session. Check out the advice on using Zoom and other popular digital platforms and the guidance on being safe online.
  • Everyone will need five or six objects that are roughly the same size. Dominoes, stacking blocks, water bottles, and cereal boxes all work really well.

Why we keep apart

  1. The person leading the activity should ask if anyone knows why people have to stay two metres apart (social distance) from others during the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Everyone should talk about social distancing and why it matters. People could take it in turns to share their experiences and have a go at explaining why it’s important.
  1. Everyone should collect their everyday objects (for example, dominoes, stacking blocks, water bottles, or cereal boxes).
  2. Everyone should stand their objects up in a line, so that they’re really close to each other. They should knock the first one over and see what happens.
  3. Everyone should chat about what they noticed – there should’ve been a domino effect where each falling object knocked the next one over. The person leading the activity should explain that this is like someone getting coronavirus – if they’re close to other people, it’s likely that they’ll spread it to them.
  1. Everyone should stand their objects up in a line again. This time, they should leave a big gap between each item. They should knock the first one over and see what happens.
  2. Everyone should chat about what they noticed – hopefully the first object didn’t know any others over. If it did, it probably only knocked one or two of the items over. The person leading the activity should explain that this is like someone getting coronavirus – if they stay apart from other people, they won’t spread it as widely and far fewer people will get poorly.
  3. The person leading the activity should ask if anyone knows any other ways to stop the spread of coronavirus. People could talk about washing their hands or wearing face coverings.
  4. The person leading the activity should explain that mass testing can help to slow the spread of coronavirus even further. It can quickly tell people that they have coronavirus and need to isolate.
  5. Everyone should line their objects up and knock the first one over – but they should catch it before it falls and remove it. What happens?
  6. Everyone should chat about what they noticed – hopefully none of the objects fell down. The person leading the activity should explain that if testing is quick, people can isolate before they spread the virus to anyone else.

Keep apart with heart

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that even though we all have to stay apart, we can still do it with heart, live our Scout values, and be kind to people wherever we can.
  2. Everyone should make a brilliant badge, pick me up poster, or positive pledge to help and encourage others in their community.
  1. Everyone should take it in turns to show off their creations and share what they’re going to do to make sure they keep apart with heart.

Reflection

Coronavirus seem really scary, especially if people don’t know the facts. Learning more about COVID-19 and how we can play our part in helping to stop it spreading can help us to stop worrying as much. Did people know why keeping apart was so important? How will people try to teach others about the importance of staying distant? How did it feel to learn that there are things everyone can do to help and make a difference?

Showing kindness to others is always important, but it’s especially important when times are tough. How did it feel to promise to be kind to others while staying apart? Did people know that there were so many different ways to do this? How will people help others to know that they can still be kind while being apart?  

Safety

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.

For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.