A Race to Help

Teams race against the clock to offer assistance in diverse scenarios, balancing compassion with safety.

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Everything you need to play this game

  • Some assistance props (optional)

A step-by-step guide to play the game


Gather the group of players and divide them into two teams. Inform them that one team will be the providers of help, while the other group will portray individuals in need of assistance.


Distribute the following roles to the group portraying "people in need" in secret, ensuring the other team does not know the roles. Allow them some time to mentally prepare or gather props for their roles. Address any questions for clarification about their roles. Advise them to spread throughout the room as they role-play.


Suggestions for roles:

  • One player is on the ground after a fall, clutching their leg in pain.
  • Two players are engaged in a heated argument, pushing each other with escalating tension.
  • A player struggles to lift a heavy object and appears frustrated.
  • A player is in tears after being mocked by another player.
  • A player appears frightened and anxious.
  • A player seems disoriented and lost, expressing fear.
  • A player appears lonely and despondent.
  • A player feigns being bitten by a snake, with the "snake" (drawing or fake) still nearby.

Gather the two teams again and explain that when you say "start," the group portraying people in need will begin their role-play, while the other team, the helpers, must decide how to respond to each scenario. Allow sufficient time for reactions.


Once completed, facilitate a discussion and reflection on their experiences. Review each situation separately, discussing the actions taken and inviting alternative ideas for assistance. Emphasize the importance of prioritizing safety before offering help. In situations where intervention may pose risks, emphasize the need to refrain from intervening to avoid endangering oneself.

Extra game information

You can think of any other role/situation you want/fits in your group of players. 

This game is the fourth game of a package of games/activities to introduce children to Psychological First Aid. If you decide to play all the games as a package, it is highly recommended to make an introduction about PFA to the children, underlining the three basic steps of PFA: observe, listen, do/link. The four games/activities of the package are based on those 3 basic steps. The games/activities of the package are:

  1. The Great Observer
  2. Conversational Chaos
  3. Supportive Flowers
  4. A Race to Help

If you want more information about PFA you can find in the links below: 

  • https://pscentre.org/resource/a-guide-to-psychological-first-aid-for-red-cross-red-crescent-societies/
  • https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241548205
  • https://www.nctsn.org/resources/psychological-first-aid-pfa-field-operations-guide-2nd-edition
  • https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/document/psychological-first-aid-guide-field-workers-2/

Of course, you can find even more information about this topic with a simple search online. 


  • With young players you can role play one situation at a time and discuss it all together. 
  • To make the activity more advanced, divide the players in a way that the team of helpers is smaller than the other team, so they have to decide in which situation to help first. 
  • If you are with many facilitators, you can role-play the help situations and only the players are the team of helpers.

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