Road Construction Pretend Play: The Importance of Stop and Go Games for Kids | Still Playing School

Road Construction Pretend Play: The Importance of Stop and Go Games for Kids

Our preschool theme this week is community helpers. We took the opportunity to play a Stop & Go Game as we pretended to be road construction workers. An added bonus is that learning to stop through pretend play games benefits children in many ways.

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We've been stuck in a lot of road construction lately which is terrible for getting anywhere on time but great for car conversations with your kids! As we wait we discuss a lot of things including the workers that are fixing the road and holding signs to tell us how to drive our cars around them safely.

We made a sign just like the road construction workers hold. It has STOP on one side and SLOW on the other. I printed these out from an image search online, glued them to a piece of cardboard, and stuck the sign into a sturdy cardboard tube.

See all of our Pretend Play Ideas here! 

We wore our pretend play hard hats. We took turns being the road construction workers and the "cars" that were driving on the roads. We read the words SLOW and STOP while discussing their meanings.

So why is it important to play Stop & Go Games with kids?

- Children are learning that they have control over their bodies. They may have the impulse to go, go, go but through stop and go games they are learning that when their minds hear STOP their bodies can listen!

- It is easier to practice stop and go games in a safe, relaxed, and fun setting in the hopes that the control and listening skills carry over to more vital, important situations when an immediate response is needed (holding hands in a parking lot, stopping when angry before acting out in a physical way). 

- By taking turns as the leader in the games, children learn that their commands have meaning. We always quit tickling in our house when our children say stop (even if they later beg for more). We are teaching them through our words and actions that what they say matters.

What are other examples of Stop & Go Games?

- Red Light, Green Light

- Freeze Dance

- Mister Rogers' Stop Light Game
(This game is great to play on a mobile device while you are waiting somewhere with your kids!)

More Community Helper Ideas from the Playful Preschool Team:

Rescue the Alphabet Game by Mom Inspired Life

ABC Mail Delivery Service by Tiny Tots Adventures

Making and Delivering Mail by Growing Book by Book

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  1. I like the signs used to help teach them when they should stop and go.

  2. This game looks so fun! My son would love the signs!

  3. I love that you used stop and slow construction signs in the game. It is a great variation on Red Light, Green Light. It takes more concentration to go slow than to simply go. Love it!

  4. My boys love to play stop and go and it's a perfect way to work on two words to "read".

  5. Love that you incorporate large motor and self control into your activity! When my own son was two, he'd say, "red means STOP; green means GO, and yellow means GO SLOW!":) Perfect teaching game for the Community Helper Theme!

  6. My Maeve has a hard time following directions, so this game is perfect for her!