You probably remember playing the Simon says game when you were a kid. It was always fun to have your friends do funny things, then catching them when ‘Simon didn’t say!’
After a while, it can get boring to continually ask people to do the same old actions. So when you teach your kids the game Simon says, teach them these ideas to keep the game fresh and keep them playing Simon says for years to come!!
Simon Says Ideas To Keep The Game Fun
1. Simon Says To Run In A Circle Really Fast!
When a kid is expecting to be told to touch their nose, or maybe their chin, a command which makes them move out of their space can really throw them for a loop! Just make sure the players aren’t standing too close to each other, otherwise, there might be a kid collision! This command can be made even more challenging if you add that Simon says to run in a circle with a partner like these kids demonstrate in Zinkwazi.
2. Simon Says To Walk Backwards
As an adult, you may not realize how difficult walking backward is, as it isn’t an activity you engage in every day. But this an activity that is important to a child’s development as outlined in First Cry Parenting. This means it’s very beneficial to introduce this activity during a fun game like Simon says! This is another command that you should ensure the players are far apart for, or maybe have them play in a line to keep everyone safe.
3. Simon Says To Say Something In Another Language
This is a command which is best used with children who are elementary school aged. You may not think that your child knows any words in a foreign language, but you might just be surprised. According to Live Science, children are much better at learning a foreign language than adults, and what better way to encourage them to repeat what they’ve learned than in a game of Simon says? This is also a great game to include in a foreign language classroom as you can call out what the student needs to touch in the language they are learning, and the student will have to translate it in their mind in order to perform the action.
4. Simon Says Walk Like A Crab
Animal imitation commands in a game of Simon says are always a kid favorite. And it doesn’t have to be a crab walk! You can ask your child to reenact the motion of any animal, there are plenty of examples in this CBC Parents article. To make this command more challenging, you can ask your child to touch his or her nose while walking like a crab, or maybe have them try and lift one leg—just make sure you are playing on a soft surface!
5. Simon Says Be A Tree
Asking your child to imitate an inanimate object like a tree during a game of Simon says, can help to activate the creative part of their mind. This can be a great way to introduce children to activities such as balancing, as being an object often requires them to be still in a certain pose, which increases their concentration. In this article, Lumsden Kindergarten, the kids were asked to imitate objects as a segue to working on their concentration and balance.
6. Simon Says Wink With Your Left Eye
Winking is an activity that can often challenge children as it takes developed motor skills to be able to move the eyelids independently of each other. Add to this challenge by asking them to distinguish their left eye from their right, and you are in for a laugh! This explanation of teaching kids to wink in Life In My Home can give you an idea of what you can expect from this command.
7. Simon Says To Do A Funny Dance
Kids love to dance, so why not incorporate this into a game of Simon says? Make this more difficult by instructing your child to do a funny dance for a specified amount of time, say, five seconds, and see who is able to dance and keep track of time! This command can be quite funny if it is one which is used without the phrase ‘Simon says’ as you will be left with only one or two children dancing will the others stand still and watch like in this example in Our Family Lifestyle.
8. Simon Says What Is 3X5?
Getting older elementary children involved in a game like Simon says can be difficult, but you can easily change the game to include harder subjects, such as math, by asking the kids to solve math problems that are appropriate to their age level. If you are playing in a classroom setting, you can give your kids white boards with markers to solve longer math problems like this teacher did for her game in Daily Advertiser.
9. Simon Says Wiggle Your Nose Then Touch Your Left Knee
Simon says can be a great game to help children work on their memory skills. Try compounding multiple commands together in one, and see how well the children remember. Start with something easy, like wiggle your nose then touch your left knee, then slowly add more difficult commands which include a specification as to which side of the body such as left or right. This is also an easy way to make a game of Simon says more physically challenging, as you can ask kids to do jumping jacks or to bend over and touch their toes. For more ideas of physical Simon says commands you can stack, visit this article on University of Nevada, Reno.
10. Simon Says Touch Your Bicep Muscle
If you are teaching kids the different muscles or bones in the human body, you should consider the game Simon says as a way to do it! This can quickly make Simon says a challenging game even for older elementary school students. In addition, you’ll be able to see which kids may be struggling and could use some extra help in the class. You can even make it more challenging like they did in Angelic Scalliwags, and ask the children to touch two parts of the body using the scientific names for both.
11. Susie Says We Are Playing Simon Says
Give the classic game a modern twist by changing the name of Simon to the person who is doing the calling in the game, like they did in this example on Love To Know. This will make the child feel important when it is their turn to call out the activities for the group to do. You can also make the game more difficult by introducing other names and specifying the one the kids should respond to. For example, maybe the children should only respond when you say “Susie says” but not when you say “Trevor says” as you are Susie and not Trevor.
12. Simon Says Don’t Touch Your Nose
This version of Simon Says is sure to challenge even the most seasoned players. Tell your kids that in order to win, they must do the opposite of what Simon says. So if Simon says to touch your nose, the kids should not do so. But, of course, if Simon says not to stand on one foot, then the child would do so. This teaches your children to not only listen carefully but also the art of self-regulation which is an important life skill as explained by Today’s Parent.
13. Simon Says Drive Your Car
The best part about a game like Simon says is that it can be very simple to adapt to whatever your child may be studying for the week. In this Hilite article, the preschool aged kids are playing a car themed Simon says with some older students from the same school. Commands can include items such as, ‘start your car’, ‘turn your car to the left’, ‘stop your car,’ and so on.
14. Simon Says Draw!
If it’s a rainy day and you don’t want your kids getting all hyped up on an active game of Simon says, you can grab some paper and crayons and turn it into a Pictionary type game as this mom did in Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas. You should specify both what is drawn, as well as what color is used, but they will need to listen carefully to make sure they don’t draw when Simon didn’t say! This is also an excellent opportunity to let your kids be Simon in an environment that won’t have you hopping around on one foot or anything crazy.
15. Yogi Says Cobra Pose
This fun version of Simon says is explained in Kumarah Yoga, and gives kids a great introduction to yoga. First, you will start off with easy commands such as ‘pat your head’ or ‘reach for the stars’ then you will teach the children what that pose is called. Later, you, or Yogi, will ask for that pose to be reproduced. You’ll be surprised by how much your child is able to learn about the sport of yoga! You can also ask your kids to imitate what you are doing with a command like “Yogi says to stand like this with your hand in the air,” to teach them the poses which may be a combination of one or more actions.
16. Simon Says Swim
Did you know that Simon says also makes a great game for an afternoon at the pool? Just replace common commands with those such as ‘do a backstroke’ or ‘bob your head underwater.’ Just remember that if you are asking the kids to go underwater, that you put a time limit on it, such as five seconds, so they will be able to hear your next command when it is time! If your kids are excellent swimmers, you can add in additional commands, like touching the bottom of the pool, as outlined in Swim Teaching.
17. Simon Says For Sports
You may think that middle and high school students are too old to play Simon says. And maybe they are too old for the traditional version, but this doesn’t mean you can’t apply it to activities your pre-teens love, such as training for sports. In this example on Rachel Marie a gymnastics coach uses commands like ‘cartwheel’ ‘handstand,’ and ‘back handspring.’ This game can also be made more difficult by shouting out a combination of moves a player must remember to make in succession. Any coach could use this game to not only get their players listening attentively but also having fun while they are doing it.
18. Simon Says Let’s Play At The Playground
For kids that are bored at the playground, Simon says can be a real laid-back way to have them stay engaged and they may even make a new friend or two! Start out by using the command Simon says, and calling out a location they must go to. Then repeat this with different locations around the park. If you have them running back and forth, this will make sure they are nice and tired later! You can also turn the game into a balance game like they did on Aba Science Play and have your child play a simpler version of the game while balancing on a piece of play equipment.
19. Simon Says Let’s Do Things Simultaneously
As your kids grow, it will be important to upgrade the game to keep them interested. Besides giving them a list of tasks, as previously mentioned, you can also give them tasks to do at the same time. Some of the more difficult command combinations include rubbing your stomach while patting your head—an impossible task even for most adults! Or you can follow this example in Shining Brains and ask your children to jump and clap simultaneously!
20. Simon Says Adults Can Play Too!
Is reading this list of Simon says ideas making you miss a childhood favorite? Well, Simon says can also be incorporated into adult life! This teacher in The Jewish Chronicle actually uses Simon says as a way to wake up his adult students when they are starting to look a little sleepy in the middle of a lesson, as it gives everyone an opportunity to get up and move around. You can also make Simon says a party game by asking all of your guests to write down two actions on slips of paper (but don’t tell them what it’s for) and then putting them in a hat. Imagine their surprise when you start playing Simon says and they have to perform the actions they wrote down as you draw them from the hat!
Overall, Simon says is an extremely fun and diverse game that can teach your child several important motor and life skills. Not only that, but Simon says is unique in that it is a game that can continue to grow and change as your child does. So next time you are at a party or event, and guests are at a loss of what to do, it might be time to pull out one of these fun versions of the Simon says game!