Red Light Green Light!

Preparation time: None! (Optional: You could take a few minutes to cut out your Red light Green light cues, such as a green and red circle.)

Clean-up time: None! (This is an active game, so make sure there are no breakables nearby!)

Game Duration: As long as you like, but generally between 5 and 15 minutes.

What you will need:

  • Something borrowed and something blue. No! Wait! I mean,something red and something green! As mentioned in the preparation time requirements, you can use any red or green object. Our toddlers love it when we use two stuffed animals, two blocks or two socks!
  • Game-friendly space! You don't need to bring this game outside, but it is recommended that you choose a space where your toddler can freely move around.

How to Play:

Have your toddler pick a movement (spinning, jumping, rolling, crawling, etc...) at the beginning of each turn. Hold up your green object so that your toddler knows it's time to engage in the movement and then hold up the red object when it's time to stop. Red light Green light requires your toddler to attend to visual cues and teaches that 'red is stop' and 'green is go'.


  • You could make it a fun activity to hunt around with your toddler for the red and green objects you wish to use during the game. Suggest unusual things, such as cookie cutters, underwear, pillows, and definitely use your toddler's suggestions whenever possible!
  • It's a good idea to play Freeze! first, as it introduces the stop/go play dynamic without the extra challenge of paying attention to specific visual cues.

  • Try to stop in a funny pose when the 'red light' goes up!
  • Toddlers will naturally get lost in their movement and stop paying attention to the visual cue. If this happens, give it a few seconds and then say: Green light!/Red light! - so that you gently remind them that the visual cue has changed. If you find that your toddler is having too much difficulty paying attention to the visual cues, throw away the rule book and have fun moving!

More complex variation for older toddlers: Have them choose a counter-action to do during red light (ex: getting low to the ground - slithering like a snake, etc...). Extra points if you do it with them!

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