When I was little, we were allowed to play outside until the street lights began to shine. That was the signal to hurry home. Those glorious hours outside were filled with free play. We’d make our own obstacle courses, ride bikes, play Marco Polo in the aluminum pool, and run during countless games of Red Light Green Light. You remember that one! Today, I’m reliving Red Light Green Light with a literacy twist.
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TRADITIONAL RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT GAME
Let’s start with the traditional way to play the game. No supplies are needed. It’s best played with three or more players.
1.One player is the police officer. He stands on one end of the sidewalk with his back to the other players.
2.All other players line up at a start line a good distance from the police officer.
3.The police officer yells, “green light,” and the players run toward him. When he yells, “red light,” the players must freeze as he turns around. Players caught moving must return to the start line.
4.The first person to reach the police officer becomes the new officer.
RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT GAME WITH A LITERACY TWIST
Now, let’s add a little literacy learning into the game.
Materials needed: colored foam sheets, permanent marker, scissors, and sidewalk chalk
Cut out three cars from colored foam sheets for each player. Write a letter of the alphabet your child needs to practice or a sight word for older children. Behind the spot where the police officer will stand, make three “parking spots” with sidewalk chalk for each child. In each spot, write the corresponding letter or word.
For this version, the players (runners) each hold three cars cut from foam sheets. Follow steps 1-3 above. The first player to reach the officer gets to place one of their cars in the correct parking spot. The players then return to the start line and continue play until all three cars are “parked” by one player. That player then becomes the new police officer.
There you go. Red Light Green Light with a literacy twist! What throwback kids activities do you remember from your childhood?
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