How To Play Simon Says Game & Helpful Ideas
Simon Says has been a playground and classroom game favorite for decades. It requires no equipment, and the rules are simple, making it a fun game for all ages. Listening and following directions are the main objectives, which translates into a learning experience. These types of educational games make learning active and fun for students and teachers alike.
It's quite similar to the game "Follow The Leader", but the point of the Simon Says’ game is to obey commands, but only if the leader says, “Simon Says” before the command. Slowly, participants are eliminated from the game as they are caught not paying attention. The last participant left in the game is the winner. The game should have at least three people, but the more participants involved, the better and more entertaining!
How to Play Simon Says
Step 1: Pick a leader
One person is picked to be the leader of the group. For game purposes, they are “Simon.” Simon then gives commands to the rest of the group. The leader can be a teacher focusing the group on a particular objective, students taking turns, the winner of the previous game, or chosen randomly. To make it fun and equal for everyone, have all the students or children go at least once.
Step 2: Setup
Since there is no equipment or special court required to play on, setup is simple. You can play the game anywhere, as long as participants have room to do the activities Simon asks them to do. You can play it in a classroom setting or outdoors. The leader should stand in front of the group, facing them so they know who gets eliminated and should be within hearing distance so that everyone can hear.
Step 3: Command and obey
Start playing Simon Says by having the leader give easy commands and basic instructions. Some of the orders are prefaced by saying, “Simon Says!” For example, the leader might say, “Simon says, stand on one foot!” or "Simon Says, start doing jumping jacks"
Those instructions are the only ones the participants can follow. The leader tries to trick participants into following orders without saying “Simon Says” first. Each time a participant follows a command without hearing “Simon Says” first, they’re out.
Step 4: Last one standing, wins!
Little by little, participants are called out as they’re caught not listening or following Simon’s directions carefully. The last person standing can be the next Simon, or a new leader can be chosen in the group’s preferred way.
Simon Says Game Variations
The game can be played using a name other than Simon to make it more tricky. You could also incorporate other games or things like flashcards into the game. For example, you can say, “Simon says, touch the flashcard with a picture of a cat.” To make the game more challenging, you can command participants to perform more than one activity in the same sequence. Or, the leader can do the actions with the group, trying to trick them by completing actions even if they didn’t say “Simon Says.”
Simon Says Ideas
Here are some easy instructions to start the game and more difficult commands as the game progresses. You can also use any of these funny Simon Says ideas without saying the phrase to eliminate the players:
- Simon Says stand on one foot
- Simon Says touch your nose
- Simon Says clap your hands
- Simon Says jump up twice
- Simon Says lift up your left arm
- Simon Says draw yourself as a stick figure
- Simon Says dance like nobody is watching
- Simon Says look at the person behind you and yell their name
- Simon Says sing your favorite song
- Simon Says walk backwards
- Simon Says move your ears without touching them
- Simon Says tap your head while rubbing your belly
Why You Should Play The Game
Since it’s a simple game that requires no equipment or prep, which is why Simon Says is so common in popular culture. Since the objective is to follow directions and actively listen, teachers find it fun to teach activities to students using this game. Simon Says is also an excellent choice for students needing extra support, like ESL students or other children who learn best through kinesthetic activities. The game can also be a great ice breaker for students or players of any age.