Statues (game)

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Red Light, Green Light being played at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park's Ropes course.

Statues (also known as Red Light, Green Light in North America, and Grandma's/Grandmother's Footsteps or Fairy Footsteps in the United Kingdom) is a popular children's game, often played in different countries. There are variations of play throughout different regions of the world.

General rules[edit]

  1. A person starts out as the "curator" (It, Granny, Pooh, etc.) and stands at the end of a field. Everyone else playing stands at the far end (distance depends upon playing area selected). The object of the game is for a "statue" to tag the curator, thereby becoming the curator and resetting the game.
  2. The curator turns their back to the field, and the "statues" attempt to race across and tag the curator.
  3. Whenever the curator turns around, the statues must freeze in position and hold that for as long as the curator looks at them. The curator may even be allowed to walk around the statues, examining them. However, the curator needs to be careful – whenever the curator's back is turned, statues are allowed to move.
  4. If a statue is caught moving, they are sent back to the starting line to begin again or eliminated.


Red Light/Green Light[edit]

Red Light/Green Light (sometimes abbreviated as RLGL) is a variation of statue. The title of the game refers to the colors of a traffic light. The "it" person stands at one end of the playing field, with the rest of the players at the other end. "It" turns their back to the others and calls out "Green Light!" The others then run as fast as they can towards "it." At any time, "it" can call out "Red Light!" and turn to face the others; and the others must freeze in place. If anyone fails to stop, they are out or must return to the starting line. The first player to reach the person who is "it" wins and becomes "it" for the next round. In another variation,[citation needed] when the "it" person calls out "Yellow Light!" the other players must slowly approach the "it" person.

In the Dutch version,[citation needed] instead of "Green light!" the "it" person sings in a slow voice "Annemaria", followed by a quick and loud "Koekoek!" ("Cuckoo!") when he/she turns around (like "Red Light!"). "Koekoek!" is also the Dutch equivalent of a Peekaboo game played with babies, where the parents hide their face with their hands, then reveal themselves whilst saying "Peek-a-boo!" (also known in Dutch as "Kiekeboe!").

The Flemish version of the game is called "1, 2, 3 Piano", in which the "it" person at the end of the playing field or against a wall shouts "één, twee, drie, piano!" (translating to one, two, three, piano in English) before turning around to the other players. Only during the time this sentence is being shouted, the participants are allowed to move.

Winnie the Pooh[edit]

Winnie the Pooh is a variation of Statues where the person playing "Pooh" (the Curator) usually leans against a wall and has to shout "1, 2, 3, Winnie the Pooh, stop!" (so it is long enough for the players to reach some distance and because of the rhyme it provides in Bulgarian, where this version comes from) before turning to face the players. Whenever a player tags Pooh they have to run so it doesn't catch them. If they manage to go back to the wall where Pooh was leaning before it catches them, they become Pooh and the game starts over. In this variation the role of Pooh is more desirable.

Team building exercise[edit]

Another variation of the Red Light / Green Light game was altered as a team building exercise. It follows RLGL rules with exception that if anybody moves after the red light the whole team must return to the starting line. Also, the object of the game is for the players to "steal" an "object" positioned near the "it" person and return with it to the other side of the field. Once the "object" is moved it has to stay hidden from "it" who has several guesses as to who has it at the moment. If guessed successfully then the whole team must return to the starting line.

Other names[edit]

"Un, dos, tres, cigarrillo cuarenta y tres" (tr. "One, two, three, cigarette forty three")
"Hot Chocolate"
"Donner, Wetter, Blitz!" (tr. "Thunder, weather, lightning!")
"Zimmer, Küche, Kabinett, hinterm Ofen steht ein Bett!" (tr. "Room, kitchen, cabinet, behind the oven there is a bed!")[1]
"এলন্ডি লন্ডন, ঘড়ি বাজে টনটন, এক, দুই, তিন!" (tr. "L-O-N-D London, bells ring ton-ton, 1 2 3!")
"Eén, twee, drie, piano!" (Dutch/Flemish)
"Un, deux, trois, piano!" (French)
"Batatinha frita, um, dois, três!" (tr. "Little french fry, one, two, three!")
"Winnie the Pooh" (Мечо Пух, lit. "Pooh Bear")
"Indian Eye" (Индианско Око, lit. "Native American Eye")
"Go, go, stop!" (British Columbia)
"Un, deux trois, soleil" (tr. "One, two, three, sun") (Quebec)
"Bleu, blanc, rouge!" (tr. "Blue, white, red!") (Quebec)
"Un, deux trois, statue!" (tr. "One, two, three, statue!") (Quebec)
"Un, dos, tres, momia es" (tr. "One, two, three, it's a mummy")
"红灯绿灯小白灯" (tr. "Red light, green light, little white light")
"一二三,紅綠燈,過馬路,要小心" (tr. "One Two Three, Red light green light, careful when you cross the road") (Hong Kong)
"一,二,三,我们都是木头人!" (yī, èr, sān, wǒ mēn dōu shì mù tóu rén. tr. "one, two, three, we are all wooden men")
"Crna kraljica, jedan, dva, tri" (tr. "Dark queen, one, two, three")
Czech Republic
"Cukr, káva, limonáda... čaj, rum, bum!" (tr. "Sugar, coffee, lemonade... tea, rum, boom!") – The words rhyme, and the latter are easier to say quickly.
"1, 2, 3, rødt lys: stop" (tr. "One, two, three, red light: stop")
"Heeringas, heeringas, üks, kaks, kolm" (tr. "Herring, herring, one, two, three")
"Peili" (tr. "Mirror")
"Un, deux trois, soleil" (tr. "One, two, three, sun")
"Pica paret" or "Un, dos, tres, pica paret" (tr. "Knock the wall" or "One, two, three, knock the wall") (Northern Catalonia)
"Eins, zwei, drei, Ochs am Berg" (tr. "One, two, three, ox at the mountain")
"Αγαλματάκια ακούνητα, αμίλητα, αγέλαστα... Μέρα ή νύχτα;" (tr. "Statues that don't move, don't speak, don't laugh... Day or night?")
“Einn, tveir, þrír, fjórir, fimm, dimmalimm” (tr. “One, two, three, four, five, ‘dimmalimm’)
"Apple, Apple, Banana
"Patung" (tr. "Statue")
"Dag Maluah" (‎דג מלוח, lit. "Salted fish", tr. Pickled herring; "Ahat shtayim shalosh [one two three] dag maluah!")[2]
"Un, due, tre, stella!" (tr. "One, two, three, star!")
"Daruma-san ga koronda" (達磨さんが転んだ, lit. "The Daruma Fell Over") Instead of calling out the phrase, "Daruma-san ga koronda", you may countdown from 10 to 1.
"Mugunghwa kkochi pieotseumnida" (무궁화꽃이 피었습니다, lit. "The Rose of Sharon has bloomed")
"Pukul Berapa Datuk Harimau?" (tr. "What time is it Grandpa Tiger?")
"Un, dos, tres, calabaza" (tr. "One, two, three, pumpkin")
"L-O-N-D-O-N London, S-T-O-P Stop!!" or just "L-O-N-D-O-N London!"
"Annemaria Koekoek!"
"Rødt lys" (tr. "Red light")
"P-O-L-O S-T-O-P stop, Polo Stop!"
"Un, dos, tres, pan con queso!" (tr. "One, two, three, grilled cheese!")
"Pepsi 7-Up"[3]
"Raz, dwa, trzy, Baba Jaga patrzy!" (tr. "One, two, three, Baba Yaga is looking!")
"Um, dois, três, macaquinho do chinês!" (tr. "One, two, three, little monkey of the chinese!")
"Unu, doi, trei, la perete stai" (tr. "One, two, three, you're staying at the wall")
"Море волнуется — раз!" (lit. "Sea has waves — one!")
"Тише едешь — дальше будешь!" (lit. The quieter you go, the further you'll get!)
"Лукава лисица, СТОП!" (tr. "Sneaky fox, stop!")
"A, E, I, O, U"
"Mati, koliko je ura?" (tr. "Mother, what time is it?")
"Uno, dos, tres, toca la pared"
"Un, dos, tres, el escondite inglés" (tr. "One, two, three, English hide and seek")
"Un, dos, tres, pollito inglés!" (tr. "One, two, three, little English chicken!")
"Pica paret" or "Un, dos, tres, pica paret" (tr. "Knock the wall" or "One, two, three, knock the wall") (Catalonia)
"Ett, Två, Tre, Ost!" (tr. "One, two, three, cheese!")
"Ziitig läse" (tr. "Reading the Newspaper") (German side)
"Un, due, tre, stella!" (tr. "One, two, three, star!") (Italian side)
"Yi, er, san, mutouren" (一, 二, 三, 木頭人, lit. "One, two, three, wooden man")[4]
"A E I O U"
"Davul, Zurna, Bir, İki, Üç" (tr. "Davul, Zurna, one, two, three")
United Kingdom
"Hot chocolate"
"Granny's Footsteps"
United States
"Un, dos, tres, pescao" (tr. "One, two, three, fish") (Puerto Rico)
"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish"
"Un, dos, tres, pollito inglés!" (tr. "One, two, three, little English chicken!")
"Em bé tập đi" (lit. "The baby learns to walk")
"Ngựa Gỗ" (tr. "Wooden Horse")
"Một, Hai, Ba" (tr. "One two three")
"Hổ đã quay lại làng" (lit ."A tiger has returned to our village")

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barboric, Antonia (1 February 2013). "Zimmer, Küche, Kabinett" [Room, kitchen, cabinet]. Die Presse (in German). Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  2. ^ Kordova, Shoshana (17 September 2013). "Word of the Day / Dag Maluah: How to Get the Grandkids to Like Herring". Haaretz. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  3. ^ Bernardo, Jaehwa (15 September 2021). "Kiddie games turn deadly in Korean series 'Squid Game'". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  4. ^ "1-p-8 123木頭人(認念)(教師版)". (in Chinese). Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  5. ^ "The largest game of Darumasan ga koronda" (Press release). UUUM. 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2017-07-06.

Further reading[edit]