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Red Light, Green Light: An Outdoor Game That's Fun for All Ages

Players Need Quick Reactions to Win This Childhood Game


Active games like Red Light, Green Light encourage the grandkids to exercise.

Red Light, Green Light gives the grandkids lots of reason to run.

Photo © GBH / Dreamstime

Red Light, Green Light is a great game because children of different ages can play. This is also one of those traditional games that many adults will remember playing as children.


Red Light, Green Light is appropriate for all ages.

Equipment Needed

No equipment is needed.

Where to Play

Any good-sized open area will do.

How to Play

One person is designated as “it” and plays the part of the stop light. The other kids line up about 20 feet away from “it.” Facing away from the other kids, “it’ calls out “Green light!” The other kids move toward “it.” “It” then calls out “Red light!” and turns around quickly. Any of the kids who are caught moving must go back to the start line. Play continues until someone reaches and tags “it.” That person then becomes “it.” The trick to winning this game is to move smoothly so that you can freeze instantly until you are within reach of “it.”


When playing with children of different ages, you may want to designate two start lines, the closer one being for the smaller kids. In one variation of this game, "it" may call out "yellow light," when means that the players can continue to move but must move slowly.

See More Classic Kids Outdoor Games

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