Google and Girlguiding Launch New Activities

27 October 2023

Google and Girlguiding, the UK’s largest youth organisation dedicated to girls, announce the launch of new co-created online safety activities to help girls learn how to be safer online.

Working alongside Parent Zone, the new activities have been specially developed for each of Girlguiding’s sections, Rainbows aged 4-7, Brownies aged 7-11, Guides aged 11-14 and Rangers aged 14-18.

Girls as young as four will be able to learn how to stay safer online, through the Online explorers Rainbow activity, giving girls the opportunity to create an avatar, and learn about usernames and online identities. Brownies will be able to discover the importance of kindness online and how to deal with online bullying through the Kingdom of kindness activity, and Guides will be able to learn about digital footprints and protecting personal information through To share or not to share?.

The activity for Rangers, Girlguiding’s oldest section, will see girls learning how to be safer when interacting online, design their own social connection app and investigating what makes an app safe through Connect and respect. 1 These activities about how to stay safer when navigating the online world are accessible to all, as girls won’t need any technology or internet access to take part.

Both Google and Girlguiding are passionate about keeping children safer online, particularly as Ofcom’s 2023 Media use and Attitudes report highlighting that up to 25% of 3–7-year-old children have a mobile phone, increasing to 60% by the age of ten. 2

The launch of the activities, developed with girls and young women, follows findings from Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey which found that almost half of girls (48%) aged 13-21 say that social media makes them feel empowered to talk about the things that they care about. But a third of girls (33%) between 11 - 21 would feel safer if there was more guidance on where and how to report content online and 31% believe that a better understanding of privacy settings would help them to feel safer. 3

Girlguiding advocate Grace, 19, said: “As our world has evolved, the internet plays a big part in young people’s lives. That’s why it’s so important that we teach girls about using the internet safely. The internet is a great resource and I’m delighted that Google and Girlguiding are teaming up to help keep girls safer online.”

Angela Salt, Girlguiding CEO said:Now more than ever, it’s vital that girls are learning how to equip themselves to be safer online as early as possible. The results from our latest Girls’ Attitudes Survey show that girls want to feel like the internet is a safe place for them, and I’m glad that our work with Google will continue to empower and support more girls.

“After six years of campaigning for girls' safety online, we are glad to see that the Online Safety Bill will soon pass into law, and we are hopeful that these new activities provide another way to help keep children and young people safer online.”

Nicole McWilliams, Former Girlguiding member and an Android Engineering Lead at Google added: “As both a parent and an engineer, I’m passionate about equipping girls and young women with the tools and information needed to explore the online world safely.

“The internet helps young people to learn about the world around them, gain new skills and discover new hobbies, but it’s important that girls of all ages have access to resources that enable them to feel confident and empowered as they navigate the web. That’s why we’re thrilled to be working with Girlguiding to roll out these new fun and engaging online safety activities as part of our national partnership.”   

Google and Girlguiding will also launch two fun new Google badges. The new unit meeting activities are the latest in Girlguiding and Google’s 5-year partnership. They are part of Girlguiding’s UK programme, sitting under the Skills For My Future theme in the topic Digital discovery. They’ll join the organisations’ previously co-created activities, which include Happy appy for Rainbows, Brownie bots for Brownies, Chattermatter for Guides and Build-a-phone for Rangers.

In 2022, Girlguiding announced the expansion of their partnership with Google and the launch of four new co-created digital skills activities for girls aged 4 to 18 to help inspire more girls and young women to pursue interests in technology and engineering and challenge gender stereotypes.