How to play red light – green light

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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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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