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Tie, match, and build

You’ll need to use all of your outdoor skills and work as a team to complete this outdoor skills relay race.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Device with access to the internet
  • Scissors
  • Pens or pencils
  • Scrap paper
  • Access to water
  • Tables
  • Whistles
  • Compass
  • String
  • Torch or phone
  • Buckets
  • Access to a printer
  • Cones
  • Map
  • Buckets

Before you begin

  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here
  • You’ll need two different colours of cones.
  • Set up the tables at one end of the space – they should be at least two metres apart and you’ll need one for each team. Place all the equipment for each challenge on the tables for everyone to see.
  • Prepare the equipment for each challenge. You’ll need enough sets for each team to have their own.
  • For Tie a reef knot you’ll need two pieces of string about 20cm long.
  • For Match equipment you’ll need a compass, whistle, map, and torch, and labels for each of them.
  • For Match the habitat you’ll need pictures of a squirrel, hedgehog, badger, robin, tree, hedge (or stack of sticks), a sett, and a nest.
  • For Build a raft you’ll need some sticks, two pieces of string about 40cm long, a bucket of water, and something to test the raft such as a stone or ball.
  • Put two cones for each team on the opposite side of the space. The cones should be different colours (for example, red and green). The cones should be two metres apart from the cones either side of them.
  • Make sure you have enough leaders to help with this activity. They should stand behind the tables and help people (staying two metres away from them). They’ll also need to tell each person which activity to do.

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity.  Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • Make sure people wash their hands before using any equipment and again straight afterward
  • Clean or replace equipment between different people using it.
  • Remind everyone to stay two metres apart at all times.

Ready to relay

  1. Everyone should split into groups of up to four people.
  2. Each team should line up socially distanced behind a red cone. There should be two metres between each person in the team.
  1. The first person in each team should run to their team’s table and complete the challenge. When an adult says they’re finished, they run back to the empty (green) cone next to their team. Once they’re safely behind the green cone, the next person in their team should go. Everyone should stay two metres apart behind the cones.
  1. The first team to have all their members behind the green cone is the winner.
  2. If people would like to play again, clean all of the equipment (or replace things like paper). Rearrange the order in the teams so that everyone has a chance to do another activity.


This activity needed everyone to work as a team and use their outdoor knowledge to complete the tasks as fast as they could. If someone was struggling, how did their team help them? Did they cheer them on or help them figure out the answer? Were any of the challenges especially tricky? What helped people to dig deep and stick at it? Perhaps people took a deep breath before giving it another go or asked for some help. Although this was a race, the really important thing was that people learned something new and had fun – it doesn’t matter if some people weren’t as fast as their friends.


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. 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.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.