Timeless Running Games – Part 1

You probably remember playing them as a child and they are still around today. The running games with the simplest of rules (like tag) that require nothing more than space, imagination, and energy. These games don’t need any preparation and can be played almost anywhere.

Red light, green light is a game where one person is “it” and the rest of the children have to try and sneak up. The child that is “it” stands at least 20 feet away from the other children. When they are ready to start, they turn their back towards the kids and yell green light. All the kids run towards “it” until he or she turns around and says red light.

Everyone must freeze, if anyone moves, they have to go back to the beginning. The purpose is to reach the person who is it while they have their back turned during green light. Whoever reaches “it” first gets to play the traffic light in the next round.

Mr. Wolf is a game that is set-up similar to Red light, green light. The child who is “it” is Mr. Wolf. The rest of the children ask, “What time is it Mr. Wolf?” and then take the appropriate number of steps depending on what time it is. For instance, if Mr. Wolf said it was three o’clock than all the children would take three steps towards him. This continues until Mr. Wolf decides that it is lunch time. When the children ask what time it is and Mr. Wolf replies, “It’s lunch time!” Everyone runs away, the person Mr. Wolf catches “is” the new Mr. Wolf.

Children love the anticipation of being chased especially if they don’t know when it is going to happen. If the same children are always “it” you may want to step in to make sure everyone has a turn.

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