Games for UU kids and adults
Compiled and written by Dan Harper
Copyright (c) 2014 Dan Harper
Choose one person to be the caller. S/he stands at one end of the room/space, next to the goal. The goal might be anything convenient: a carpet square, a chair, etc. The rest of the players stand at the other end of the room/space, at a defined starting line (a sidewalk, the wall, and piece of rope on the floor, etc.).
When the caller calls out “Green light!” s/her must turn away from the rest of the players, and the players can then move safely towards the goal. At some point, the caller calls out, “Red light!” and turns around to look at the other players, who must all freeze. If the caller sees anyone moving, s/he calls out that person’s name, and that person has to go back to the starting line. Game is over when someone touches the goal without being sent back by the caller.
When playing with younger children, you will want to begin playing this game with an adult as the caller.
Optional additional rules — Red Light, Green Light with Cheating: So far, these are the rules of traditional Red Light, Green Light. Now comes the cheating part. The players can cheat by not staying frozen, and stealthily trying to move towards the goal without being spotted by the caller. The caller can cheat by moving away from the goal, and standing anywhere s/he wants to more closely observe the players (which of course also leaves the goal unguarded, and offers other players a chance to sneak closer to it).
There are many variations on this game. Here’s one:
Everyone sits in a circle except one person. That one person is the Ducker. The Ducker goes around the circle tapping each person GENTLY on the head (with preschoolers, you may have to emphasize the GENTLY), each time saying “Duck.” But eventually the Ducker taps someone on the head and says “Goose,” at which point that person (call them “Goose”) stands up, and chases the Ducker around the circle. If the Ducker manages to sit down in Goose’s place in the circle, then Goose becomes the new Ducker. If Goose manages to tag the Ducker before the Ducker sits down in Goose’s place, then the Ducker sits in the middle of the circle (which is sometimes called “The Soup Pot”); if there was already someone in the Soup Pot, that person goes back to sit in the circle; and the Goose then becomes the new Ducker.
Of course, everyone wants to be the Ducker at some point in the game. When playing with little kids, sometimes you have to say, “raise your hand if you haven’t been tagged yet,” and then tell the Ducker that they have to tag someone who has their hand up.