The Simon Says Game: How to Play & Making the Most of the Game

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The Simon Says game is a classic game that helps kids develop a wide variety of skills physically and cognitively. Not only is great for development, but they have a blast playing!

simon says game

Simon Says is a classic group game for kids that has been around for generations, much like duck duck goose and the telephone game.

It’s a game that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and it’s perfect for parties, family gatherings, or any time you want to have fun with a group of people.

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know to play Simon Says, including the basic rules, how many players are needed, and some variations of the game to try.

Benefits and Skills Kids Can Learn While Playing Simon Says

Listening Skills: In order to play Simon Says successfully, children must listen carefully to each command that Simon gives. This helps to improve their listening skills and they learn to follow instructions more precisely.

Following Directions: Following directions is one of the most important skills that children learn in school. Simon Says is a great way for them to practice and reinforce this skill in a fun and engaging way.

Focus and Attention: Simon Says requires players to stay focused on what Simon is saying and to pay close attention to details. This can help children improve their concentration and focus.

Cognitive Development: Simon Says can help with cognitive development as kids navigate through the different commands issued and think about what each command is asking them to do. This helps to forge problem solving skills which will prove useful in later life.

Memory Retention: Simon Says requires that players must remember which commands were included in the game. This is a great way to improve memory retention skills.

small kids playing simon says

Practical Tips for Enhancing the Game

Physical Challenges: Add physical challenges like balancing on one leg or doing jumping jacks to make the game more exciting. This helps to improve physical strength and movement skills.

Color Instructions: Incorporate color instructions like “Simon Says touch something red.” This makes the game more challenging and helps children learn color recognition.

Number Instructions: Include number instructions like “Simon Says jump three times.” This helps children learn counting skills and enhances their numerical reasoning abilities.

Basic Rules of Simon Says

Simon Says is a game that is played with a group of people.

One player is designated as “Simon” and the other players are “followers.”

The objective of the game is for the followers to do what Simon says, but only if Simon prefaces his command with “Simon Says.”

If Simon does not say “Simon Says” before the command, then the followers should not do what is being asked of them.

If a follower makes a mistake and does something that Simon did not say, they are out of the game.

The game needs plenty of space for the players to be able to move around, but it’s perfect game for the classroom setting or at home.

Number of Players

Simon Says can be played with any number of players, but it’s usually best to have at least three or four people playing.

The game works best in groups of around six to eight players, but you can play with as many or as few people as you like.

kids playing simon says

How to Play Simon Says

  1. Designate one player as Simon and the rest of the players as followers.
  2. Simon begins the game by saying “Simon Says” followed by a command, such as “Simon Says touch your nose.”
  3. The followers must then perform the action that Simon directed them to do.
  4. If Simon doesn’t say “Simon Says” before the command, then the followers should not perform the action. If they do, they are out of the game.
  5. Play continues with Simon giving commands and the followers following them (but only if Simon says “Simon Says” first).
  6. The game continues until there is only one person left standing or until the players decide to end the game.

Tips and Tricks

  • To keep the game challenging, vary the commands so that they aren’t all physical actions. You can also incorporate color or number instructions to make the game more challenging for older children. Additionally, you can increase the pace of the game as children become more advanced in their skills.
  • Keep the commands simple and easy to understand.
  • Vary the commands so that they aren’t all physical actions.
  • Be sure to start each command with “Simon Says” to avoid confusion.
  • If you’re playing with younger children, consider allowing a few extra seconds for them to follow the commands.
  • Try to keep the pace of the game moving, but don’t go too fast so that players can’t keep up.
  • Incorporating positive feedback can encourage kids to keep playing and get better at the game. Celebrate individual successes by pointing out when a child successfully completes a command, or when they remember a command from earlier in the game.

Command List

We have lots of ideas for simon says with a free printable to grab if you are interested. But to get started here are some basic simon says commands you can use:

  1. Simon says touch your nose.
  2. Simon says jump up and down.
  3. Simon says clap your hands twice.
  4. Simon says spin in a circle.
  5. Simon says shout “I love Simon Says!”
  6. Simon says pat your head and rub your tummy.
  7. Simon says touch your toes.
  8. Simon says stand on one foot.
  9. Simon says do a silly dance.
  10. Simon says count to ten out loud.

Remember to keep the commands age-appropriate and vary the difficulty level as the game progresses.

kids playing simon says

Variations of Simon Says

There are lots of different ways to play the simon says game. Try out some variations to take the game to the next level.

These are great for expanding new areas of development and learning. It’s a great way to teach kids concepts through play.

Color Challenge: Instead of using basic commands, the leader could use color sequences instead (such as “Simon says touch your red shirt”, “Simon says touch something yellow”, etc.)

Opposite Day: Instead of obeying Simon’s instructions, the players must do the opposite. If Simon says “Jump!”, the players should stay put. If Simon says “Don’t move!”, the players should move.

Speed Simon Says: Simon gives a series of commands as quickly as possible, challenging players to keep up. Anyone who hesitates or does something incorrectly is out.

These different variations of Simon Says offer creativity, problem-solving, and excitement.

Players can choose their favorite variation, or switch it up to keep the game engaging and fun.

Each variation offers a unique twist on the classic game that children can enjoy and benefit from.

Simon Says can be a great game to play with children to help them develop important cognitive and motor skills.

The game can provide an opportunity to improve listening skills, enhancing memory and cognitive development, improving reaction time, and building social and teamwork skills in children.

By incorporating various strategies, ideas, and practices, parents and educators can make playing Simon Says a fun and engaging game for kids, helping to foster lifelong learning and love from problem-solving and growth.

With its simple rules and endless variations, Simon Says is here to stay and continue to provide engaging and developmental fun for kids of all ages.

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