Step Forward, Step Back
Equipment: Something to mark a centre line (for example, chalk, masking tape, or rope)
Setup: Use the chalk, masking tape, or rope to make a line down the middle of your meeting area dividing it in half.
Extra Measures: People should be 2m apart from the people on their own team. The middle line becomes a middle zone.
Everyone should split into two (equal) teams. Each team should stand either side of the middle line (1m back), facing each other. Each person should be opposite 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. For example Step forward:
- Your phone’s switched off or on silent. Take an extra step forward if you left your phone at home.
- You don’t keep your phone or tablet in the room you sleep in.
- You use ‘night mode’ or ‘wind down mode’ on your device before bedtime.
- You’ve ever used your device for something like guided meditation or relaxation to help you sleep.
- Your passwords have both capital and lowercase letters.
- Your passwords have special characters (for example, exclamation marks, question marks, or currency symbols).
- You take regular short breaks when you’re using screens – whether you’re doing homework or gaming.
- You’ve ever blocked or reported a troll (someone who’s deliberately being unkind, making personal comments, or starting arguments. They look for someone to ‘take the bait’ and argue back).
- You’ve ever reported online bullying.
- You know where to go if you’re worried about something online. People could go to the NSPCC’s page on
online safety, or talk to a trusted adult.
- You make sure you know someone in real life before accepting a friend or follow request from them.
- You’ve used the internet to research for school.
- You switch off mobile data when you’re not using it
- Your phone’s on loud in the room right now.
- You’re woken up at night by your phone going off.
- Your social media passwords have your name in. Take an extra step back if they have your birthday in them.
- You’ve written your passwords down somewhere obvious.
- You’ve ever had a headache from too much screen time.
- You’ve seen something online that’s given you bad dreams.
- You’ve argued with a troll (someone who’s deliberately being unkind, making personal comments, or starting arguments.
- They look for someone to ‘take the bait’ and argue back).
- You’ve seen bullying online and not reported it.
- You’ve made an unkind comment on a post, photo, or video.
- You’ve copied and pasted someone else’s words into your homework.
- You look at your device when you’re eating a meal.
- You had an account on a site like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat before your 13th birthday.
Use the above or make your own, or a mix of the two.
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! If anyone’s super uncomfortable about being honest, they could stay still. If there’s enough room, people could even shut their eyes while people move to make it less obvious.
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. You may need to remind everyone that it’s a judgement-free zone – however people move, it’s a safe space to explore and learn.
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.
For a non-competitive game, just be curious about where people end up. People could also try to get close enough to the middle to high five the person from the other team.
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