Equitas Tips for Facilitating at a Physical Distance

July 10, 2020

You can also download the full tip sheet as a PDF: Facilitating In A Physically Distant World

Here are Equitas’ tips for facilitation in a physically distant world!

Prepare to Facilitate Activities:

1. Practice Including Physical Distancing in your Explanations

When preparing and practising your activities, include mentioning physical distancing in your explanations. This will help you, as a facilitator, make sure that you don’t forget to mention physical distancing restrictions. Practice makes perfect!

2. Explore and Divide the Resources You Have

Depending on the hygiene safety regulations in your organization, you may not allow young people to share resources, such as stationary or markers. In this case, plan ahead of time to ensure that you have enough resources for each young person and that the resources can be equally divided.

3. Explore and Divide the Space You Have

Space is very important when it comes to ensuring physical distancing. With your team, determine what space you have available and which activities could be done safely within the space. If the space is not big enough for the number of young people, extra steps must be taken. This includes breaking young people into smaller groups, or adapting the activity to require less space (e.g.: structuring spaces better using visual tools).

Facilitate Activities:

1. Set Expectations about Physical Distancing

Express the physical distancing expectations that you have for young people during the activity. Emphasise physical distancing and repeat how important it is frequently. The more you repeat it, the more likely it is that young people will remember it!

2. Demonstrate the Activity at a Proper OR Emphasised Physical Distance

Even if your group knows the activity well, they have likely never done the activities at a physical distance. As such, demonstrating the activities is key! Ensure that these demonstrations are done at the very least at a correct physical distance, but if space permits, we recommend demonstrating at an exaggerated distance (perhaps 3 meters). Showing an exaggerated distance will drive in the importance of remaining at a distance.

3. Use Visual Tools to Mark A Proper Physical Distance

Young people may not necessarily be able to visualise what 1 meter looks like or may forget to maintain this distance during the exciting activities, therefore, we encourage you to use visual tools to mark what a proper safe physical distance is. This could be done by using things like tape (inside) or chalk (outside) or hula hoops (grass) to draw X’s or O’s on the ground to mark out the distance. From this, you can incorporate standing on these X’s or in these O’s into your activities!

4. Get Creative with Alternatives to High Fives!

While things like high-fives are common in a non-physically distant world to celebrate successes, facilitators now must find non-touching alternatives. Get creative! This could involve creating personalised non-touching handshakes with young people or coming up with celebratory dances. These alternatives keep the personal aspect of high-fives, while maintaining an appropriate distance!

5. Schedule the Time to Debrief Activities

Doing activities at a physical distance is new for the young people, but also for facilitators. It is normal that activities may not go as planned, or that unexpected issues occur. Because of this, it is important to debrief with both the young people and other facilitators to understand what exactly these issues are, so that the activities will run better next time. Ensure you schedule enough time for these debriefs. Don’t be afraid of difficulties, embrace them and learn from them!