Getting their attention
Before you start this or any other game it is important to get every child's attention. Please see my previous article "The Numbers Game" for a great way to do this
The Rules (for your reference):
Traffic Lights is a simple command game, where you assign a command or action to a color. Traditionally, you use Traffic light colors (red, amber and green). However, you can add more colors to the game if the children are old enough to understand.
So, what are the commands?
When you say the color "green", the children run around.
When you say the color "amber", the children dance on the spot.
When you say the color "red", they are to stop still; much like in musical statues.
If the children are a little older (7+) then you can add more colors without them getting confused. The colors I personally add for this older age group are as follows:
When you say the color "blue", the children walk backwards.
When you say the color "purple", the children spin on the spot.
Of course, feel free to have fun with it. Add more colors and commands if you wish, but remember that the age of the children will affect how complicated you can make the actions. If you have prizes to give away then you can give them to the child that dances the best, walks backwards the best etc. There is plenty of scope here for giving away prizes!
How to explain this to the children in a fun way:
"OK, now we're going to play a game called Traffic Lights.
As usual, you should encourage the children to raise their hands by raising your own hand – most children have played a version of Traffic Lights at some point.
"Ok guys. So when I say the word green, I want you to run around as quickly as possible. you guys need to be as still as possible. "
At this point, you should play some music, and say either "green" or "amber". This will get them either running around (green) or dancing on the spot (amber). When you say "red", I would advise stopping any music as this provides more of an impact. Then start the music at the same time as saying either "green", "amber" or any other color where an action is required.
If the children are a little older and you would like to add some more colors to the game, then you can do this midway through. As the children will still and quiet when you say "red", they will be far more receptive to new rules – explaining a new color / command will be far easier at this point.
Thanks for reading!