Simon Says is a great game. It’s ideal for playing with any number of kids, and you don’t need anything to play. So it’s perfect for parties, family get-togethers, and kids’ groups. If it’s been a while since you played, you might be a little rusty on how it works as well as the finer points of being a good Simon. So to help you out, we’ve got a list of Simon Says ideas, tips on how to make it fun, and a quick reminder of the rules.
How To Play
Simon Says is a straightforward game to play. You have one person who’s the leader. They call out instructions. If the instruction starts with ‘Simon Says’ all the players have to do the action. If the leader doesn’t say ‘Simon Says’ then the players shouldn’t follow the instruction. Players who don’t do an action when they should are out, and if they do something they shouldn’t, they’re out too.
“Simon says hop on one foot” – Everyone who hops on one foot stays in.
“Simon says sit down” – Everyone who sits down stays in.
“Stand up” – Everyone who stands up is out.
How To Be A Good Simon
Playing Simon Says is really easy, but being a good leader is actually pretty hard. You need to try and keep everyone engaged. Once kids are knocked out, it needs to be fun for them to watch as well, and you don’t want the game to last too long. Here are some top tips on how to be a good ‘Simon.’
Do More Than Call Out The Actions
When you’re calling out the actions, it helps if you act them out too. Especially if you do it for the ‘wrong’ instructions as well. This is an excellent way to catch kids out and to make the game a bit more fun. It can also help the kids who are a little unsure about what to do.
Make It Fun
Remember that you’re playing a game, so it’s supposed to be fun. You can achieve this by not being too strict on the rules, or if adults are playing, pick on them but not the kids. Vary your volume, speed, and tone. This will make it more engaging. Finally, ask the kids to do silly actions.
Ideally, you don’t actually want to get anyone out too early on. If someone is out, right at the start, they’re going to get bored. So start slow and comfortable before you really start trying to get kids out.
Once there are a few kids on the sidelines it’s time to step things up and get the rest out as quickly as you can. With a game like Simon Says it’s usually better to play a few short rounds rather than one long one. That way, you don’t have kids sitting around for too long.
How To Catch Kids Out
I’ve already mentioned that you should do the action whether the kids are meant to or not, but there are a few other tricks that you can use.
Make a Simon Sandwich
An excellent way to get kids out is to do a few instructions in quick succession. Make the first, and last instructions’ Simon Says’ but not the middle one. For example:
“Simon says touch both elbows at the same time
Put your hands in the air
Simon says, put your finger on your nose. “
If you need to try and catch a good chunk of kids out, try saying something similar to ‘Simon says’ but not quite the same, for instance, ‘Pimon says’. Anyone who’s not quite listening properly will be caught out.
With Simon Says, the expectation is that the players do what you say and only that. So you can get a bit tricky with something like this:
“Simon says put your left hand on your right elbow
Simon says, jump in the air”
If any kids take their hand off their elbow when they jump, then they’re out. Because you never gave them an instruction that required them to move their hand. How strict you want to be with this rule will probably depend on the kids’ age and how good they are at the game.
Ask The Impossible
When all else fails, ask them to do something impossible. This is a good option if you need the game to finish up and there are still kids playing. Good ways to do this include giving them an impossible time limit – like run to the door before I count to 3. Or you could ask them to do something that is actually impossible, like #100 on the list – lick your elbow.
The ideas are split into groups to make it easier to find inspiration.
Good For Younger Kids
#1. Clap your hands
#2. Touch your toes
#3. Put your hands in the air
#4. Put your finger on your nose
#5. Pat your head
#6. Rub your tummy
#7. Sit down
#8. Wiggle your fingers
#9. Touch your back
#10. Point to your right knee
#11. Stroke your eyebrows
#12. Stick out your tongue
#13. Cross your arms
#14. Give yourself a hug
#15. Touch both your elbows at the same time
#16. Wiggle your bottom
#17. Point at something purple
#18. Count to ten
#19. Roar Like a Lion
#20. Jump in the air
Good For Older Kids
#21. Put your hand over your heart
#22. Wink your left eye
#23. Hide your head in your shirt
#25. Wiggle your nose
#26. Walk backward
#27. Put your feet in the air
#28. Spin in a circle
#29. Do jazz hands
#30. Touch your right knee with your left hand
#31. Close your eyes
#32. Play air guitar
#33. Dance the chacha
#34. Give someone a high five
#35. Make a heart with your hands
#36. Play the flute
#37. Play the piano
#38. Play the drums
#39. Dance a jig
#40. Tap dance
Ideas To Let Kids Be Silly
#41. Act like a monkey
#42. Gallop like a horse
#43. Waddle like a penguin
#44. Fly like an airplane
#45. Flap like a bird
#46. Pretend to stroke your beard
#47. Twirl your imaginary mustache
#48. Meow like a cat
#49. Bark like a dog
#50. Pretend to sweep the floors
#51. Act like a pirate
#52. Act like a baby
#56. Be as small as you can
#57. Act like something smells really bad
#58. Play dead
#59. Swim like a fish
#60. Pull a silly face
Ideas To Get Kids Exercising
#61. Do a pushup
#62. Do 10 sit-ups
#63. Do 5 jumping jacks
#64. Run on the spot
#65. Kick your bum
#66. Do high knees
#67. Run around the room
#68. Freeze (especially good if they’re in a silly position!)
#69. Hold the plank position
#70. Balance on one foot
#71. Do a burpee
#72. Do a tuck jump
#73. Sit down and stand up 5 times as fast as you can
#74. Army crawl
#75. Walk on your knees
#76. Get into the Downward Dog pose
#78. Climb a ladder
#79. Bunny hops
#80. Do the can-can
Ideas To Challenge Them
#81. Clap your hands twice, then turnaround
#82. Touch your right elbow and your left ear at the same time
#83. Touch the floor, then jump up high
#84. Rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time
#85. Pull a silly face, then pull a sillier face, then pull the silliest face!
#86. Tie your fingers in knots
#87. Act like an anteater
#88. Get into 3 equal groups in under 10 seconds
#89. Snap the fingers of you left hand and draw a circle with you right hand
#90. Ice skate like a robot
#91. Count to ten in a different language
#92. Do the worm
#93. Put your right hand on your left knee and your left hand on your right foot
#94. Take three steps back, slide to the left, jump to the right, and sit down on the floor.
#95. Act like a fly stuck in a room
#96. Sing, and do the actions to ‘heads, shoulders, knees, and toes’ as fast as you can.
#97. Run like a squirrel
#98. Say hello like a poodle
#99. Do the first action Simon said
#100. Lick your elbow (save this one for when you need to end the game in a hurry!)
Simon Says Lick Your Elbow
So that’s it for this list of Simon Says ideas. Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration for your next turn as ‘Simon’. If you’ve got some great suggestions, we missed why don’t you pop them in the comments below and let us know how you get on.