How you can help your children build executive function with stop-go games!

Games like red light – green light are a great way to help children build executive function through play. Executive function plays a key role in emotion regulation and impulse control — helping kids pause, think and then make a decision before immediately reacting. This is a simple game that my students love to play! For those of you who may not be familiar with this game, I wanted to share it with you today…

How the Game Works

1. Have your students line up (side by side) at one end of your space facing the teacher.

2. The teacher stands opposite of the children and faces the children.

3. When the teacher shouts “Green Light!” The children walk quickly or run (depending on your space) towards the teacher.

4. When the teacher shouts “Red Light!” The children stop where they are.

5. The teacher continues to shout “red light or green light” until the children get to her and then all the children go back to the starting line and the game starts again.

Other Variations

  • In our classroom, the children also take turns being the ones to shout “red light and green light”.
  • We also made simple little red and green stop signs to hold up so the children can also see a visual but this is really not necessary. Our kids enjoy holding up the signs as we play the game.

Do you have an old favorite game we can play?

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