How to Play Red Light Green Light Game

How to Play the Red Light Green Light Game with Preschoolers

Children play many games with each other all over the world. They spend hours playing games with siblings, friends, classmates, and kids in their neighborhood. These games help them learn teamwork, communication skills, listening skills, problem-solving skills, adaptability skills, and so much more.

All this helps children become well-rounded individuals. The wide variety of games available makes them accessible to children of all ages and allows for play between age groups. Games make for a fun and carefree childhood while equipping kids to transition into teenagers and adults.

One such game is the Red Light Green Light game. This game is perfect for kids in preschool and elementary school. While kids may believe that the fastest player will win this game, the truth of the matter is that it is the calm and steady player who ends up walking away with the win.

This article will show you everything you need to know about playing Red Light Green Light with preschoolers, including its variations.

An Overview: Red Light Green Light Game

An Overview: Red Light Green Light Game

This game is also known as Statues in the United States, while in the United Kingdom, it is called Fairy Footsteps or Grandma’s/Grandmother’s Footsteps. This game is played all over the world in many variations and has been loved by many generations of children. This game can be seen in various forms of media; in fact, it was the first game in the competition in Squid Game, the extremely popular South Korean television series released in 2021 by Netflix.

In a large field, gather all the children. Designate the playing area and make sure there is around 15ft between the starting line and the finish line. An adult is designated as the “traffic cop” or “caller” and will stand at the finish line while the rest of the children will stand at the starting line. To start play, the “traffic cop” says loudly, either “Green Light” or “Red Light.”

If it is “Green Light,” the children can move forward toward the finish line. When “Red Light” is called out, all players must stop moving. If any child is still moving when the Red Light is called, then that kid must go back to the starting line. The first kid to reach the finish line will win that game. The game ends when all or most of the players make it across the finish line.

Ensure all the kids know the rules, especially what happens if they move on Red Light. They should know how to move quickly and safely so that nobody is hurt.

Once all the children have played a few rounds and understood the rules of the game, you can designate one of the kids as the caller/traffic cop and have them yell out Red Light or Green Light. The winner of the game can be the caller for the next game; this way, many kids will get the chance to be the caller. This is an opportunity for the children playing to learn responsibility as they get a chance to control the game.

Can You Play This Game Indoors?

Can You Play This Game Indoors

You can easily play this game inside, especially in a classroom on a rainy day or snowy day. You can move some of the desks and chairs if you need more space.

Of course, children need to know that there is no running inside but walking quickly for this game. The same rules apply. The caller says Green Light, and the children move forward. If Red Light is called out, then everybody must stop, but if anybody is still moving, then they go back to the starting point.

Of course, the distance between the starting line and the finish line will be smaller than if this game was played outside, but no worries. The kids will still have fun even with the limited space.

What is the Goal of The Red Light Green Light Game?

What is the Goal of The Red Light Green Light Game?

The game’s main goal is for kids to develop awareness, motor development skills, following directions skills, listening skills, agility skills, and comprehension skills. All these skills are extremely helpful when children grow up; that’s why parents and teachers should get children to play this game at school, parks, birthday parties, picnics, play dates, and many more occasions.

This game is the perfect icebreaker for kids when they come into a new grade or any new setting; this will help them make friends or at least become friendly with other kids. This game can be played by children in preschool up to grade six. As a bonus, this game teaches children about how the traffic lights work, so when they grow up and start driving cars, they will be responsible drivers and cross the street safely as pedestrians.

Some Variations of Red Light Green Light Game

Some Variations of Red Light Green Light Game

1. Adding More Colors

A Yellow Light can be added where players move slowly if called out. You can also add other colors if you want. For example, hopping for purple light, skipping for blue light, tip-toeing for white light, galloping for black light, walking backward on gray light, and walking heel to toe on orange light.

2. Make the Winner the Caller

You could give all the children a chance to be the caller regardless of who won the game. If you have a wide range of children’s ages, then you could have two different starting lines, with the closer one for the smaller lot. In one variation, the caller stands with their back to the other players, and they only turn when they shout the red light to see which players are still moving.

3. Yelling the Red Light and Green Light Twice

The caller can yell out a red light or green light twice in a row to see who is paying attention and who is not; it is a clever trick. Kids can work together in this game by holding hands; this way, they can cross the finish line together.

The kids will have to work together and control their bodies; otherwise, they will be pushing or pulling anybody, which will cause some players to move when there is a red light.

The caller could be at the finishing line, so this way, the game can move around; when most players are near the finish line, the caller can move, thus making the finishing line further away. If the number of players is too many, then divide the children into groups, and the groups can play in multiple rounds; this way, everybody gets to play, and they do it safely.

4. Adding 1,2 and 3 for The Twist

Another variation is when the caller yells, “Red light, green light, one, two, three,” with their eyes closed. The other children race toward the caller, but when the caller gets to three, everybody must stop immediately, and the caller opens their eyes. Anybody still moving gets sent back to the starting line.

The children can make a stop sign for Green Light and Red Light as a fun craft project during school. This will make them more excited to play the Red Light Green Light game. Different students can make different colored signs, and they can use the different colors to move in different ways during the game. Mixing it up gives kids more variety and makes it more fun.

5. Combining It With Other Games

The children can play Red Light Green Light along with other games like Duck Duck Goose, Red Rover, Please Mr. Crocodile, Tails, Captain’s Orders, Simon Says, What’s The Time Mr. Wolf, Scarecrow Tag, and other fun games at school recess, school trips, birthday parties, and other times. Kids will make friends through these games and learn so many skills which will help them when they grow up. Even shy or introverted kids will enjoy this game.

Online Available Versions of Green Light Red Light Game

Online Available Versions of Green Light Red Light Game

There is one version with motion sensing for your kids to try out. One version has a visual timer with audio cues, which comes with an app. There is even a double-sided stop-and-go toy paddle, which can be used to show kids when to move and when to stop. You can teach kids about traffic light rules with this traffic light DIY craft kit.

You can even teach your toddlers with a traffic signal light model since it is never too early to start educating your kids about traffic safety. Do not worry; the article has not forgotten the adults. For them, you can download this game from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store since even adults need to relax and remember their wonderful childhood memories and games.

Final Thoughts

As adults, we sometimes use games to explain a point so that the children have fun and learn new skills. Many lessons need to be taught in different ways and multiple times so that the kids remember the lesson and can apply the lessons learned in real-life scenarios. Games can also help kids make friends, especially if they are the new kid in school or neighborhood.

One of these games is the Red Light Green Light game, which this article talks about. You get to know the rules of the game, the game’s goals, any variations you can use, and other important details you will need to know so that the kids enjoy this game thoroughly. You can try out any of the variations of the game to see which one is preferred by your kids.

Natalia Rodriguez

Natalia Rodriguez, a journalist with over a decade of experience, has been a vibrant part of our team since 2015. She holds a Master's in Child Development from Stanford University. Natalia began her career in early childhood education, where she spent five years understanding children's learning and play behaviors. Her transition to writing was driven by her passion for educating parents and caregivers about developmental milestones and creative play. When she's not writing, Natalia enjoys crafting and hiking.

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