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 Grandmother's Footsteps in the United Kingdom) is a popular children's game, often played in different countries. How the game is played varies 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 can even 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 thrown out of that round, whichever way is preferred) and if a statue gets sent back they must go all the way back. Usually, the honesty of the Curator is not enforced, since being a Statue is more desirable.


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 "Koekkoek!" ("Cuckoo!") when he/she turns around (like "Red Light!"). "Koekkoek!" is also the Dutch equivalent of a Peek-a-boo 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!").

Grandmother's Footsteps[edit]

In this version the Curator is the "Granny" and does not call out anything before facing the players.

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]

  • "Uno, dos, tres, toca la pared" or "Un, dos, tres, el escondite inglés" (tr. "One, two, three, English hide and seek"), etc. (Spain)
  • "Un, dos, tres, calabaza" (tr. "One, two, three, pumpkin")(Mexico)
  • "Un, deux trois, soleil" (France, Quebec)
  • "Daruma-san ga koronda" (達磨さんが転んだ, lit. "The Daruma Fell Over") (Japan)
  • "Mugunghwa kkochi pieotseumnida" (무궁화꽃이 피었습니다, lit. "The Rose of Sharon Is Blooming") (Korea)
  • "Yi, er, san, mutouren" (一, 二, 三, 木頭人, lit. “One, two, three, wooden man”) (Taiwan)
  • "Peili" (tr. "Mirror") (Finland)
  • "Winnie the Pooh (Мечо Пух, lit. "Pooh Bear")" (Bulgaria)
  • ‎ "דג מלוח" (lit. "pickled herring") (Israel)
  • "Annemaria Koekkoek!" (Netherlands)
  • "Ziitigläse" (tr. Reading the Newspaper) (Switzerland)
  • "Donner, Wetter, Blitz"" (tr. Thunder, weather, lightning) (Austria)
  • "Eén, piano!" (Flanders)
  • "Un, due, tre, stella!" (Italy)
  • "Raz, dwa, trzy, Baba Jaga patrzy!" (tr. "One, two, three, Baba Yaga is looking") (Poland)
  • "Un, dos, tres, pollito inglés!" (tr. "One, two, three, little English chicken!") (Venezuela)
  • "Um, dois, três, macaquinho do chinês!" (tr. "One, two, three, little Chinese monkey") (Portugal)
  • "Pepsi 7-Up" (Philippines). Instead of calling out the phrase, "Daruma-san ga koronda, you may countdown from 10 to 1.
  • "Αγαλματάκια ακούνητα, αμίλητα, αγέλαστα... Μέρα ή νύχτα;" (tr. "Statues that don't move, don't speak, don't laugh... Day or night?") (Greece)
  • Cheepy-up (Australia)
  • "Море волнуется — раз!" (lit. "Sea has waves — one!") (Russia)
  • "A E I O U" (Thailand)

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The largest game of Darumasan ga koronda" (Press release). UUUM. 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2017-07-06.

Further reading[edit]