Red light Green light is one of the most popular games for kids above three years. This game is an excellent activity in preschool days to improve communication between kids. The game can be played indoors or outdoors with a group of kids with slight modifications based on the location.
Apart from being a fun game, this game is also known for its many educational benefits.
Red light Green light teaches SEL skills.
Teaching SEL skills at an early age does give every kid an advantage over other peers who do not learn such things. The Red Light Green Light helps the kids to learn self-management and self-regulation. The flexible memory can be further explored by changing the rules whenever needed.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which adults and children acquire and implement the knowledge and skills required to manage certain emotions, goals, or feelings. The game of Red Light Green Light also ensures that the kid learns to maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions for everyone when needed.
Top competencies enabled in kids with Red Light Green Light game.
The top competencies learned from the game are self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills. These competencies are also the core of social and emotional learning in a kid. In a 2917 study, students exposed to SEL learning at an early age were doing better than others in the school.
Some of the indicators which hinted they were doing well were-
-Positive social behavior
With such characteristics, these kids are less likely to be emotionally distressed, make mistakes, or get into drugs.
How to play Red Light Green Light Game
The number of players – 3 kids are required. If you can get more, that’ll be even better!
Equipment needed- A large open space or empty hall where the kids can run freely without injurious hazards.
One kid is chosen to be the traffic light. The kid is placed at least 5+ meters away from the rest of the kids with his/her back to the rest. The other kids stand in a line facing it.
When the traffic signal kid calls “green light,” the rest of the players start moving towards him/her unless he/she turns around calling “red light”. Upon hearing the red light command, the other kids should freeze right at the position they were. If any child is seen moving, they should be sent back to the starting line. Other children should stay statue unless the traffic signal kid commands “green light” next time.
The game continues this way unless some kid reaches the kid playing the role of the traffic signal. Upon reaching, he/she becomes the new traffic signal, and the game restarts again.
Some variations to try out-
To make the game even more exciting and challenging for the kids, here are some of the variations which you can try out in the game-
-Add a “yellow light” command in the game, which requires players to move slowly.
-Make a rule that shouting “red light” more than once in a row is not allowed
-If playing with younger kids, make the game simpler by making the traffic light stand facing the rest of the players
Major benefits of playing Red Light Green Light with preschoolers
By now, we know that this game has considerable benefits regarding self-development. Here are a few more benefits that make the game so popular-
A game like Red Light, Green Light is excellent for the development of a kid’s overall gross motor development. Also, skills such as speed, body control and running improve immensely.
In this game, the kids need to have total control over the body if they have to stop suddenly while running and freeze.
Focus and listening skills
When playing the Red Light Green Light game, the kids have to constantly focus on hearing the instructions aptly. With very little time to think, they have to react to Green light or Red Light. This ensures that their listening skills are getting heightened.
Also, this game makes them follow the instructions at the earliest. Which helps in improving focus and habit building that stays with them further at home and at school.
Understanding Road safety
The Red light Green light game might seem like all fun but it conveys a great message to the kids regarding road safety. The kids come to know that Red light means STOP while Green light means “GO”. This understanding at such an early age makes them aware and more conscious when they get on the road later.
If you are adding the Yellow Light variation, then it will teach the kids to go slow when they see the yellow light in traffic signals.
Leadership quality and Red light Green light game
When you are done a few rounds of playing the game, you can start picking leaders from the group. These leaders would be typically those kids who have won the game at least 2 times.
The work of the leader will be to oversee the entire proceedings of the game. They should know all the rules and ensure that everyone is following them. The kid playing traffic signal should also be kept track of by the leader.
Such responsibilities make the kid a better version of himself. They start valuing the rules of the game, and when they get rewarded as the leader after winning, it motivates them to win often. At an early age, boosting the kids’ confidence should always be the first priority.
Take the game indoors.
When you decide to play Red light Green light indoors, it totally changes the game’s rules. Now in a restricted space, the game needs to be conducted. Some of the best things to make the game more engaging would be-
Bunny hopping instead to running
When you shift indoors, the space is limited and hence remove the action of running totally. Instead, replace it with bunny hopping. The kids will be required to exercise greater control over their body. Plus, the entire game dynamic will change, and the kids will have double the fun.
Replace words with signs
When it comes to a kid’s development, the pre-reading skills should also be focused on. You can get it done by replacing the words with signs when playing the game indoors. Instead of Red Light or Green Light you can show hand gestures which the kids need to identify and act.
The most unique variation- Does your kid love soccer?
If your kid loves soccer or football or maybe you want your kid to excel in such a sports field, then this is the most exciting variation to try.
Add a football in the game. Instead of running on Green Light command, ask the kids to dribble the ball as they run. Upon Red Light command, the kid and their respective ball should stop right away. If they fail to do so with the ball, they will have to restart from the starting line again.
This will help your kid learn the art of controlling the ball quickly. Furthermore, they can build on this skill and learn the other important tackles and dribbles of football easily. Also, adding a ball will make the kids more excited to play the game.
All in all, the Red Light Green light is one of the most fun games to play with your kids or preschoolers. It helps them in multiple ways, and many variations will make it exciting.
Try these out with them and see how well they enjoy their entire time! The best part is they will keep learning meaningful insights about life without any effort from your end!
Hope you enjoy playing!
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.