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Sight Word Games: Red Light Green Light

Red light, green light is another outdoor game that can be slightly altered to incorporate sight words. This is a great game that promotes outdoor fun without a price tag – all you need is some children looking to have fun!

How to Play Red Light Green Light

Begin by selecting a person to be the “verbal” traffic light (aka traffic cop or TC). Line the other players about 20-30 feet away from the TC. The TC faces away from the players and begins the game by yelling “green light.” Players must run quickly towards the TC. When the TC simultaneously yells “red light” and turns around, each player must stop. Any player who continues to move must return to the beginning. Hint: Move steadily so you can stop on a dime. Play continues until a player gently touches the TC. The winner then becomes the new traffic cop. We also like to incorporate a yellow light which means a player must walk, skip or hop.

Incorporate Sight Words into Game Play

You can very easily take a simple outdoor game like Red Light Green Light and incorporate sight words by altering game play as follows:

  • The TC has a variety of sight word flash cards to use. Each player must identify a sight word to remain in her designated spot.
  • If a player moves when he should be still, he can avoid being sent to the start by identifying a sight word.
  • If the TC yells “yellow light” in lieu of slowing the pace of the game, each player must identify a sight word. If a player correctly identifies a sight word, she takes a giant leap. No penalty should be assessed for not correctly recognizing a sight word.
  • Before the winner can become a traffic cop, he must correctly identify a set number of sight words, e.g. five or one if a child is just starting to develop a sight word vocabulary.

Alter game play in a way that keeps the game entertaining for children but also exposes them to sight words. Please visit our sight word games section for additional ideas.

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