What it is: An easy game for young children

Best for: 4 or more players

What you need

  • Just an area to play, a big open space you can run in

How to play: First choose one player to be your caller. We’ll call her Mom. Mom stands at one end of the room or area while all of the players stand across from her, facing her. There should be a long space between Mom and the players. It’s also ideal if the players have a wall to stand against or a line to stand behind so everyone starts the same distance from Mom.

When all players are lined up and not wiggling too much, Mom turns her back to the players and calls “Green light!”

This is the players’ cue to run forward towards Mom. But whenever she chooses, Mom says “Red light!” and turns around. As soon as they hear “Red light!” all the players freeze in place. If Mom turns around and catches anyone moving, anyone who hasn’t frozen still, she can send them back to the starting line. (So it may not be in players’ best interest to run as fast as they can, lest their momentum keeps them from stopping in time and gets them sent back to the starting line.)

After Mom has caught anyone who was moving and sent them back to the starting line, she turns around again and calls “Green light!” Players rush forward until Mom says “Red light!” and turns around.

The first player to reach Mom wins! They get to be the caller next round.

Variations: For younger children, you could play without Mom turning around. She just stands facing the players all the time saying “Red light!” and “Green light!” She also doesn’t send players back to the starting line if they don’t stop right away, but she can require players who were slow to freeze to take a few steps back.

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