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Red Light, Green Light


Physical: running, stopping, agility, reaction time, gross motor skill, balance

Cognitive: sustained attention, selective attention

Social: understanding of personal space

Number of participants:

2 or more




  1. child runs when coach calls “green light” and stops/freezes when they call “red light (coach has back to child when calling “green light” and quickly turns to face child when calling “red light”)
  2. if the child does not stop in time, they go back to the start line

Adaptations for Wheelchair Users:

Children who are using wheelchairs can wheel when the parent/coach says “green light” and stop when the parent/coach says “red light.”

Encourage children in wheelchairs to practice changing directions quickly and safely.

Modifications to make the activity easier:

Change the environment: to lessen cognitive demand, have coach use visual cues (e.g., hold up green and red object, such as a flag, scarf, or card) in addition to saying “green light”, “red light”

Change the task:

  • decrease expectations for the length of time to hold the “freeze” position to decrease physical demand
  • have a warning cue (i.e., “yellow light”) before calling out “red light” to lessen cognitive demand

Modifications to make the activity harder:

Change the environment: increase the distance that the child needs to walk to increase physical demand

Change the task:

  • to increase physical demand, increase duration of holding “freeze” position
  • to increase cognitive demand, stop and go at unpredictable intervals 

Goal examples:

  • the child will stop running within 2 seconds of “red light” call/ visual signal, 4 out of 5 times
  • I can follow the action commands by running and stopping