Traffic Lights

Age Range: 5 - 11
By: Zoe Nicolson

This is a simple warm-up activity, where the leader / teacher shouts commands and the group have to complete the relevant action:

  • Red - Stop
  • Yellow - Run on the spot
  • Green - Run around the area
  • Roundabout - turn round once
  • Motorway - sprint (leave until a bit later in the warm-up)
  • Speedbump - jump and carry on.
  • Carpool - travel in groups of 2 or more (suggested by Julia)
  • Foggy weather - two learners pair up one behind the other. The one in front leads the one at the back who has his / her eyes closed (contributed by I Bailey).
  • Low bridge - everyone walks around hunched over / low to the ground (suggested by Ed)
  • Traffic Jam - walk or slowly jog (shared by Nicky)
  • Right or Left - pupils change direction (suggested by Vicky)
  • School Zone - slow walking, stop and slow walking again (suggested by Kate)
  • Change Lanes - change direction (contributed by Kate)
  • Reverse Parking - walk backwards (contributed by Kate)
  • Roadworks - run in single file (suggested by Martin L)
  • Breakdown - lie down until rescued (shared by Martin L)
  • Rain - use arms to mimic windscreen wipers (contributed by Gaz Elsdon)
  • Zebra crossing - gallop like a zebra (suggested by Caz)
  • Pelican crossing - walk and move arms up an down in front of your body (opening and closing like a beak) or move by sides like wings (suggested by Caz)
  • Lollipop lady - children all put hands out in front of them and shout "stop" (suggested by Caz)
  • Traffic warden - children look at a pretend 'watch' and waggle finger saying "tut tut tut" (suggested by Caz)
  • Police Car - Sit on floor and spin round shouting "nee naw nee naw" (suggested by Laura)
  • Fire Engine - Run around pretending to have a hose in their hands. (suggested by Laura)

Some children could also form bridges, which others have to go under (contributed by Martin L).

Kate has suggested using different speeds when moving around:

  • 1st gear: Walking speed
  • 2nd gear: Jogging
  • 3rd gear: Running
  • 4th gear: Sprinting

Anthony Atkinson has suggested trying this activity with the children using a football or a basketball:

  • Park - Sit on the ball
  • New Car - Stop the ball and run to another. The teacher can try removing a ball to increase competition

A visitor has shared their experiences of using this game:

I used this lesson plus many more actions. We spent over a month adding just a few more commands each time. I have over 25 commands they have to know and remember. WE take a drivers test at the end of the unit. They receive tickets if they don't perform the exercise correctly. They have 4 chances and at the end of the class, all children receive a driver's license for their efforts. I have classes of 20+ and they are in total control during the activity.

Can you think of any more? Leave your suggestions in the comments...


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Perhaps you could include Left turn and Right turn for children that a learning them. Even if they get it wrong its lots of fun.


Tracy Gladman

You could add flashing amber - and get them to walk slowly whilst opening and closing their hands saying "beep beep"