Hands Up, Hands Down

Create a handful of information about yourself, then decide which things to share to feel connected, safe, and happy.


Scouts will all need paper (thick enough to use both sides), scissors and pens / pencils

How to participate

  • Make hands

Each Scout should put a piece of paper in front of them, with the shorter sides at the top and bottom. They should put one hand (and around eight centimetres of their arm) on the paper and draw around it with a pencil.

Each Scout should fill their hand with writing and drawings about things that make them unique. They could include things like their family, friends, pets, hobbies, school, interests, faith, holidays, and whatever else is important to them. If there are any spaces, they should fill them with colour or patterns so the hand’s totally full.

Everyone should cut out their paper hand.


  • Hands up

Everyone should lift their hands up and show them to the group.

Take turns to talk through each Scout’s hand and what everything means.

The person leading the activity should remind everyone that it’s safe to share all of this information in this situation, because it’s a safe space. Discuss what that means and what makes it a safe space.


  • Hands down

Everyone should turn their hand over so they’re looking at the blank side.

Everyone should think about what they’d be comfortable sharing online with someone they don’t know. They should write or draw what they’d be comfortable sharing in this situation.

For some people this might be nothing, for others it might be their first name (or a username on a game), avatar, or basic information like their age.

Everyone should talk about what they’d be comfortable sharing. The people leading the activity should help everyone decide what’s safe – it might be a bit different depending on everyone’s age and experience.


  • Reflection

This activity can help us to feel more connected (even whilst we are currently very much ‘apart’) and to create stronger friendships. Did finding out more about others help people feel more connected? Why is this (a Scout meeting) a safe space to share information and make friends?


This activity also helped everyone to live healthily by keeping themselves safe. There are lots of important things in people’s lives, but they don’t need to share everything with everyone – they can choose which bits of life they share and who they share them with. What would happen if people were online and someone they didn’t know asked them a personal question such as where they lived or what their phone number was? Hopefully people remember that they shouldn’t share this information and should tell a trusted adult. What should people do before they share information about (or photos of) someone online? They should always ask permission – people should check with a trusted adult before they say ‘yes’, and it’s always OK for anyone to say ‘no’ politely and firmly.


  • Additionally

Show the Scouts (maybe on a pre-prepared powerpoint presentation, by sharing your screen) pictures that you have collected from magazines, newspapers or online.

Discuss and decide whether it’d be OK to personally share each photo / type of photo online.

For example, a photo of a sunset might be OK, but a photo of a stranger wouldn’t be OK, because people should never take or post photos of people without their permission.


Age Range:                     Scouts

Time to Complete:         30 – 40 mins

Badge Requirements:   Digital Citizen Staged badge

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls