You will need
- Something to mark lines (for example, chalk, masking tape, or rope)
Before you begin
- Use the chalk, masking tap, or rope to make a line down the middle of your meeting place, dividing it in half.
- If you’re working towards Stage 2 of the Digital Citizen Staged Activity Badge, ask everyone to keep track of how much time they spend online the week before your meeting and use this activity to check in with everyone to see how they spent their time online. Check out Switch off challenge for more ideas too.
Pick a side
- Everyone should split into two (equal) teams.
- Each team should stand just behind the middle line, facing each other. Each person should be in line with someone in the other team.
- Everyone should take at least 10 steps backwards, staying in a straight line with their team. Both teams should end up the same distance away from the middle.
- The person leading the game should say a ‘step forward if’ or ‘step back if’ statement.
- Everyone who thinks the statement is true for them should step forwards or backwards. Everyone should be fair and take a normal-sized step – this isn’t time for giant leaps or tiny shuffles!
- The person leading the game could pause the game so everyone can chat about the statement. They could also decide to wait until the end of the game and have a discussion then.
- The person leading the game should keep reading statements and everyone should keep moving until one player from each opposing pair reaches the middle line. The first person in each opposing pair to reach the middle earns a point for their team; the team with the most points at the end is the winner.
This activity helped everyone to think about developing skills and taking care of their wellbeing. It’s OK if people are still learning – most people (even adults) could be safer and more responsible online. This game reminded everyone about things they already do (or could try doing). Are all of the positive actions easy, for example, putting phones away before bedtime? Sometimes it’s good to compromise, for example, if people use their phones to listen to relaxing music, read a book, or help meditate. Who should people talk to if they’re scared, being bullied, or suspect a scam online? They should always talk to a trusted adult. Even the safest people may sometimes be taken in, so it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. There are loads of benefits to the internet, so it’s important to develop the skills to use it safely and healthily.
- 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.