Whoever said that life is more fun if you play games was absolutely right. Children, who are the embodiment of playfulness and an untamable spirit, are stimulated by the amusement games provide. Simon Says is one such universally adored game.
A kid-favorite, the game is thought to be centuries old, with the earliest instance being recorded in 1842! Some believe that the name Simon was chosen for the alliteration alone. In contrast, others postulate that the game derives its name from an authoritative figure who was powerful enough to command even a king!
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Play Simon Says Game
- 2 Funny Simon Says Ideas for Kids
- 3 Educational Simon Says Commands
- 4 Simon Says Ideas for Zoom
- 5 Simon Says Game Variations
- 6 Simon Says Drinking Game
- 7 Simon Says Variations in Other Gaming Media
- 8 How to Win at Simon Says
How To Play Simon Says Game
Known also as ‘Simon Sez’ in the United States, the rules of the gameplay are relatively easy to understand:
There must be at least three players.
- One player becomes ‘Simon.’
- ‘Simon’ issues instructions to other players, mostly related to physical activities, which have to be obeyed by other players.
- The most important rule is this: any instruction that follows the phrase ‘Simon Says’ must be obeyed, while the instruction that isn’t followed by it must not. For example, ‘Simon says, jump once’ must be obeyed, and ‘Jump once’ must not be.
- The player who fails to follow a directive that is uttered after ‘Simon Says’ is eliminated. Similarly, the player who follows a command that doesn’t begin with the phrase is also removed from the game.
- The player who successfully follows all orders is crowned the winner. If multiple players are eliminated near the end of the game, the player acting as ‘Simon’ wins the game.
- Giving impossible commands is considered foul play.
Funny Simon Says Ideas for Kids
The game is enmeshed in pop culture, you can find hundreds of references to the game in films, TV, music, and books.
Here are some creative and hilarious Simon Says commands kids can use:
- Flap your arms like a bird.
- Slither on the ground like a snake.
- Talk like a robot.
- Walk like a penguin
- Roll on the floor while quacking like a duck
- Do a silly dance
- Kiss your tummy
- Move-in slow motion
- Act like a superhero
- Smell your feet
- Shake like jelly
- Kill an invisible enemy by waving your magic wand
- Tickle yourself
- Be a zombie
- Rub your tummy and pat your head.
- Be scissors
- Say something in a foreign language
- Take off one piece of your clothing
- Laugh like Santa
- Impersonate your mother
- Make farting noises with your armpits
- Shake your butt
- Chase your tail like a dog
- Pretend to laugh silently
- Touch your tongue to your nose
- Stare ahead unblinking for 20 seconds
- Make up a magic spell and cast it
- Scream your name into the nearest person’s ear
- Pretend to be dead
- Give a piggyback ride to the person next to you
- High-five your face
- Pretend to be a tree
- Talk in a different accent
- Become a T-rex
- Act like Simon
- Oink like a pig
- Pretend to conduct an orchestra
- Speak in Batman’s voice
- Say a swear word
- Give Simon a kiss on the cheek
- Pretend to be Jack Sparrow
- Show your poker face
- Tell everyone the color of your underwear
- Point to your least-favorite person
- Point to the person you have a crush on
- Say, ‘I Love You, Simon’
- Sit in an invisible chair and try to lift one foot up.
- The floor is lava!
- Pretend that your butt is on fire
- Be a princess (for boy)/be a prince (for a girl)
Educational Simon Says Commands
Benefits of the Game
Besides having great entertainment value, Simon Says has several benefits:
- It makes for a great activity to chase away boredom.
- If going outdoors isn’t possible, due to rain, lockdown, or else, it can easily be played indoors, so kids don’t feel stuck.
- It can act as a healthy alternative to being glued to phone/TV screens all day.
- Simon Says has unparalleled educational value.
Educational Value of the Game
By playing the game creatively and thoughtfully, children can nourish and develop in several crucial aspects and skills:
- Attentiveness and Listening
- Motor and Perception skills
- Vocabulary, Spelling, and Thinking
- Body Awareness and Memory Strength
- Understanding and Development of Sportsmanship
- Leadership Abilities
Educational Simon Says Directives
The following few instructions will give you an idea as to how rewarding the game can be for growing children:
- Touch your (insert body part)
- Fold your arms
- Hug yourself
- Crisscross your legs
- Walk backward in a straight line
- Run around in a circle
- Touch each knee with the opposite hand
- Count to ten, then raise your head.
- Act like a cat, meow twice, and then sit down.
- Touch your earlobe and your opposite knee at the same time.
- Point to something (insert color)
- Point to something (insert shape)
- Do two pushups, three jumping jacks, and four kicks
- Spell (insert word)
- Sing the first five lines of your favorite song
Simon Says Ideas for Zoom
Simon Says makes for an excellent classroom activity. It allows teachers to imaginatively engage with their students, provides them insights into each student’s abilities, and acts as an icebreaker among the class members.
Online learning, necessitated by various reasons, requires an audio and video chat service. Zoom is the most popular in current times.
Here are some fun ideas for playing Simon Says during a Zoom conference:
- Clap your hands five times
- Wink your left eye
- Stick your tongue out
- Count to 20
- Make a frown
- Name something (insert color)
- Turn around in a circle
- Tell your name and age loudly
- Stand on one foot
All of these are straight-forward directives which will make playing this game online much easier for the students and teachers alike.
Simon Says Game Variations
The game has countless versions in different countries with Commander, Colonel, Jack, and a few other names replacing ‘Simon’.
The fascinating part is that it can be adapted for any age group. You can play around with speed, complexity, and sequencing of the commands to make the game more interesting and harder for older age groups. Some variations of the game include:
Simon Says Drinking Game
This version is strictly for adults! You play it in the usual way except that each time a player makes a mistake, he or she must take a drink. The game will be played in this fashion until only Simon, the game master is sober, and all the other players are dead-drunk!
Simon Says, Sandra Says, Saul Says
In this challenging variation, there can be three people giving instructions or one assuming the role of all three. Here’s how to play:
- A command the follows ‘Simon Says’ must be obeyed exactly. For example, if the instructor says ‘Simon says, jump twice’, the players must jump twice.
- The players must act in opposition to the instruction that follows ‘Sandra Says.’ For example, if the instructor says ‘Sandra says, wink with your left eye’, the players must wink with their right eye.
- When the commander uses ‘Saul Says’, the players must respond by performing a pre-determined action, not what the command actually says. For example, the player acting as ‘Simon’ creates a specific action at the start of the game, like ‘pat your head and rub your belly at the same time’. Now, if a command goes, ‘Saul Says, bite your right hand’, the players must perform the specific actions mentioned before instead of biting the hand.
You can combine Simon Says and Musical Chairs in one game! Arrange the set-up and position all the players near the seats. Give the players random commands to follow and then say ‘Simon says, sit down’. The players must sit down immediately. Those who don’t will be eliminated. Continue to do this: instructing the players to sit down between issuing a set of instructions. They’ll be on edge trying to anticipate.
Simon Says Variations in Other Gaming Media
The oldest of these is the classic electronic Simon game released in 1978 by Milton Bradley. It’s a memory game that requires users to replicate the flashing colors.
Milton Bradley company, now Hasbro, released several complex versions of the game, the latest of which is Simon Air. It has sensor technology, the players must emulate the patterns without touching the colored sections.
The online version of Simon exists as well. The player must click on the right buttons. It serves as a good memory game in which the player needs to memorize the illuminated keys and then repeat it.
How to Win at Simon Says
The key to be a good Simon is to phrase your directives intelligently and creatively. If you manage to craftily remove all players from the game you will win! Here are some tips:
- Issue age-appropriate commands. For example, for kindergarteners and kids between ages 6-10, commands like ‘Simon Says, jump up and down’ are appropriate while teenagers and adults need more complex directives.
- Be a trickster. Use alternative words and confuse the players. For example, instead of saying hold your stomach, say, clutch your stomach.
- Give increasingly complex commands. For example, Simon says, do ten pushups after you count to ten backward while holding your breath.
- Level up your instruction-giving speed. This means pausing only a couple of seconds before issuing a new instruction.
- Give directives that consist of long sequences of actions.
- Move the players so that they face another, their attention will shift to what the other is doing, making them lose focus and make mistakes.
- Move around while playing, or do something opposite of what you’re commanding the other players to do. This will distract the players further. For example, issue the command, ‘Simon Says, sit down’ and then stand up.
For non-Simon Players:
Unlike the game-master, who must excel at being a leader, the normal players must be equivalent to good employees, who listen and obey their superiors.
- Be attentive.
- Listen carefully.
- Think on your feet without being hasty.
- Learn to distinguish between fake and real commands.
- Do memory strengthening exercises.
Following these tips will ensure that all the players come prepared to play their respective parts to the fullest. The game will be more enjoyable and fulfilling that way.