Red Light Green Light Game

Red Light Green Light Game

Name: Red Light Green Light Game

Number of players: A minimum of two up to a maximum of around 20 for a good size game. With younger players, you’ll want between six and ten players.

Recommended ages: 4 and up

Average playing time: Each round will last around five minutes, depending on the skill and attitudes of your players.


Overview

This game is a great way to have some organized fun on a vacation with a large group of kids or to blow off some steam at recess. It combines elements of tag with ice cream to make a great game. It’s also a great way to teach children to listen to each other and to follow instructions accurately as they’ll be out if they don’t.

How to Play

The goal of red light green light game is very simple. One player is on and stands apart from the rest of the group. They are called the light post and they are in control of the game. The rest of the players stand on a marked line, a little distance away. Most people recommend around 20 feet away, but you can set different distances for each round. Overall, the further away that you start the rest of the players, the longer the game will last.

The light post stands facing the rest of the group. When he or she says “green light,” the light post turns so that his back is facing the rest of the players. At this point, the other players can creep up on the light post. However, at any time the light post can spin round and say “red light”. When this happens, all of the other players must freeze where they are. The light post can send any person that he saw moving when he turned around to the start line. After a short period, the light post turns around saying “green light” and all players start creeping up again.

An alternative version of the red light green light game, more popular with the younger kids is when the light post does not turn around when they say “green light.” Players have to rely on listening without the visual hint and those who are caught moving when the light post has said “red light” are still sent back. It is important to impose the rule of “the light post's decision is final” to prevent the players from complaining that they had not moved when the light post has said “red light” are still sent back. It is important to impose the rule of “the light post's decision is final” to prevent the players from complaining that they had not moved.


Winning the Game

Winning a red light green light game is easy. The first person to touch the light post wins. The game ends when this happens, and the person who touched the light post becomes the new light post and the game starts all over. You can find ways to sort out who wins if two players touch at the same time, such as rock paper scissors.

Strategies

A fine balance exists between running really quickly, which makes it harder to stop on time, and tiptoeing, which won’t get you caught but will rarely get you to the light post first. You might find a good compromise is walking to get close and sprinting at the very end.


Final Thoughts

When you’re having a red light green light game, you need to make sure the light post plays the game fairly. Younger children can use the position of power as a way of making friends and alienating the outsiders. If you feel they’re showing favoritism, don’t be afraid to make an example of them by removing them from the light post position immediately.

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