Activity | Play the grime-line game!


Grime Lime Game

Our Community Impact project, A Million Hands, will see Scouts help improve access to clean water. Good sanitation is often taken for granted, but your Group will learn about how important it is with this thought-provoking game.

You will need:

  • Images of items commonly found in rivers and waterways (see below for examples).
  • A timeline showing how long it takes for items to decompose (see below for examples) drawn on large sheet of paper.
  • Some pens.
  • Blu-Tack.

What to do:

1. Search for and print off images of some items commonly found in rivers and waterways. Split your Scouts into large teams and give them the images. Ask them to guess the amount of time they think it takes for each item to decompose. 

2. Get your Scouts to place their items in chronological order on the decomposing timeline you’ve drawn to create a ‘grime-line’.

3. Ask the Scouts to explain their rationale before you reveal the correct answers. You can also discuss whether they’re surprised at the correct answers, and the impact they think that might have on the cleanliness of the water. 

Some examples of decomposition:

3-4 weeks - banana skin 550 years – nappy
1 month - paper bag 20-1000 years – plastic bag
2 months – cardboard 1 million years – plastic jug
1 year – woollen sock 1 million+ years – glass
50 years – tinned steel can 1-2 million years – polystyrene
200 – 500 years – aluminium can



Over 95% of young people in Scouts think that improving the lives of others is an important part of Scouting. Sign up to the A Million Hands campaign at

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