This guide on how to play Simon Says will take you through the basics of the game and give you some fun Simon Says ideas that both you and your child are bound to love. It’s both fun and educational, which makes it the perfect game to teach your children.
However, if you haven’t played it for a while, you may be a bit foggy on the rules.
How to Play the Simon Says Game
Note: In this guide, I’ll give you a run-down of the basic rules, as if you were playing the Simon Says game with your friends. That way, you’ll be able to teach your child the rules in a more relatable fashion.
How to begin
The wonderful thing about this game is that you can play with as many players as you’d like. There can only be one Simon, but you can play with 1 child, 5 children, 20… as many as you’d like, really!
Before you begin the game, you need to choose who your ‘Simon’ will be. The person playing Simon is in charge of giving commands to the other players.
The person playing Simon gives commands, and the other players must obey the commands, or they are eliminated.
- Simon Says clap your hands
- Simon Says snap your fingers
- Simon Says jump around in a circle
As you can see, every command starts with ‘’Simon Says’’.
The person playing Simon also must try and trick the players – if they obey the command but he/she hasn’t said ‘Simon Says’, they are eliminated. Part of the learning during the game is listening carefully and only obeying the commands that begin with Simon Says.
- Simon Says sit down
- Simon Says roll around on the floor
- Put your hands in the air
Everyone who puts their hands in the air is eliminated until the end of the round because Simon didn’t say Simon Says before giving out the command.
The winner is the last person standing. That person is also the next Simon.
However, there are also some exceptions. Sometimes, a Simon can end up tricking every player, so no one ends up winning. If that’s the case, the current Simon keeps being the Simon until there is another winner.
Simon Says Example Round
Let’s make things a bit clearer so you can start playing. Here is a quick example round to get you started:
- Simon Says touch your ears
- Simon Says open your mouth
- Simon Says walk around in a circle
- Sit down
In this instance, whoever sits down is out for the rest of the game. Also, whoever fails to obey any of the commands that start with Simon Says is also out of the game.
Simon Says Ideas
Sometimes it can be hard to come up with fun, clever Simon Says Ideas on the spot – so I put together this list of 101 of my favorite commands. If you want to download the list I made a handy printable PDF which you can download HERE.
- Simon says pat your head
- Simon says play your air guitar
- Simon says point to something (insert color or shape)
- Simon says act like a monkey
- Simon says act like a robot
- Simon says play the air drums
- Simon says play air piano
- Simon says beep the horn
- Simon says bend your knees
- Simon says blow a kiss
- Simon says shadow box
- Simon says brush your teeth
- Simon says chacha
- Simon says clap your hands
- Simon says climb a ladder
- Simon says close your eyes
- Simon says comb your hair
- Simon says cover your eyes
- Simon says crawl like a baby
- Simon says crouch down like a ball
- Simon says cry like a baby
- Simon says disco dance
- Simon says do a silly dance
- Simon says flap like a chicken
- Simon says fly like a bird
- Simon says freeze
- Simon says give yourself a big hug
- Simon says hop like a frog
- Simon says hopscotch
- Simon says hug someone else
- Simon says hug yourself
- Simon says hula dance
- Simon says river dance
- Simon says jump like a monkey
- Simon says jump on the spot
- Simon says karate chops
- Simon says kiss your tummy
- Simon says laugh like Santa
- Simon says look left (right, up, down)
- Simon says moo like a cow
- Simon says move in slow motion
- Simon says move like a giant robot
- Simon says move your arms like a train
- Simon says open and close your mouth like a fish
- Simon says pretend to climb a ladder
- Simon says pretend to sneeze
- Simon says pull on your ears
- Simon says reach for the sky
- Simon says roar like a lion
- Simon says act like a rockstar
- Simon says be your favorite superhero
- Simon says run on the spot
- Simon says salute
- Simon says scratch your head
- Simon says scratch your nose
- Simon says shake hands
- Simon says shake like jelly
- Simon says shake your head
- Simon says shake your left arm
- Simon says shake your left leg
- Simon says shake your right arm
- Simon says shake your right leg
- Simon says sing your favorite song
- Simon says sit down
- Simon says smell your feet
- Simon says snap your fingers
- Simon says spin like a top
- Simon says stamp your feet
- Simon says stand in 2 equal groups
- Simon says stand in pairs
- Simon says pose like superman
- Simon says stand on 1 foot
- Simon says stand on your toes
- Simon says step to the left (right, forward, backward)
- Simon says stick out your tongue
- Simon says swim
- Simon says swing use your magic wand to destroy the dragon
- Simon says take a large step forward
- Simon says thumbs up
- Simon says tickle the person to your right
- Simon says be a beautiful butterfly princess!
- Simon says dance the chacha!
- Simon says swing your arms
- Simon says spin around twice
- Simon says touch the floor
- Simon says touch your head (hips, knees, toes, shoulders, etc)
- Simon says turn around
- Simon says turn like a ballerina
- Simon says waddle like a penguin
- Simon says walk backward
- Simon says walk like a duck
- Simon says walk on the spot
- Simon says wash your face
- Simon says wave your arms like an octopus
- Simon says wave your left hand
- Simon says wave your right hand
- Simon says wiggle your bottom
- Simon says yawn
- Simon says make a funny face – Simon says make a funnier face – Simon says make the funniest face ever
- Simon says walk like a zombie
Tips On How To Be a Great Simon
The game is incredibly simple, so it’s easy to teach it to kids of any age. But if you want to take things up a notch, look at these tips on how to be a great Simon!
Everyone can come up with commands, but the trick to being a great Simon is to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes! Teach your child how to be the best Simon by using some smart tricks.
Here’s how to do it.
- Simon Says close your eyes
- Simon Says touch your toes
- Simon Says do jumping jacks
- Simon Says quack like a duck
- Did you catch it?
If you noticed something strange, then you’re a true Simon Says, expert. If not, don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it soon.
First, you can see that all the commands started with Simon Says, so they’re safe to follow. However, the first command was Simon Says close your eyes.
The next command was Simon Says touch your toes. Keep in mind that Simon never said Simon Says open your eyes. Everyone who opened their eyes before touching their toes is out until the end of the round!
Speed it Up
Another way to be a sneaky Simon is to vary the speed of the commands. Start by giving out slow, easy commands, and then speed it up as you go. Also, try to confuse the players by adding a command without the Simon Says between two commands with the Simon Says.
You’ll not only be a great Simon, but you’ll also keep everyone giggling from start to finish!
Remember, it’s your duty as Simon to try to fool everyone!
If you’re playing with some Simon Says experts, it’s time to get extra sneaky!
Try saying a name that sounds like Simon at the beginning of the command. For example, you can say: Diamon Says or something similar. The players will have to listen extra carefully to notice the difference.
If you want the be a great Simon, you’ll have to use every trick you can think of!
Simon Says for Young Children
Simon Says is a game for children of all ages. However, you always need to be mindful of the children’s age if you want them to have fun playing.
Obviously, Simon Says for toddlers is quite different from Simon Says for kindergarteners, and not to mention first-graders and older!
Simon Says for Toddlers
If you’d like to teach your toddler to play Simon Says, you need to start with some easy commands. Here is an example:
- Simon Says wiggle your finger
- Simon Says clap your hands
- Simon Says touch your nose
- Simon Says touch your toes
There are no specific rules, you just need to remember to use commands that a toddler can obey.
Simon Says for Preschoolers
Preschoolers are a bit more ‘’serious’’ than toddlers. That’s why it’s time to step things up! Try to make things both fun by adding in some silliness. Here’s an example:
- Simon Says stomp around in a circle
- Simon Says bark like a dog
- Simon Says make a funny face
- Simon Says slither like a snake
- Clap your hands
Simon Says for Kindergarteners
For slightly older children the Simon Says game can be more complicated – you can vary the speed, ask them to do the action in pairs, or even come up with a list of favorite actions they can repeat each game.
Simon Says for kids 7-12 Years Old
If I’m being honest, kids aged 7 and older come up with the silliest commands! Trust me, once you start playing with your child, you’ll feel like a kid again.
When playing Simon Says with older children, you can sit back, relax, and let your child come up with some wild ideas. Believe me, you’ll have a blast!
For Players Ages 12 and Above
Teenagers can be a bit more difficult to entertain (puberty and all that fun stuff!), but it’s not impossible. They will already be masters of Simon Says from childhood, but they may like some help coming up with their own variations of the game.
If you want Simon Says to really stand out as a feature of a night out, you can host a themed party and invite their friends over. Have them dress up as their favorite characters, and even offer prizes for the last one standing. Once you get them going, they’ll never want to stop playing.
Simon Says for Education
Simon Says is an incredibly fun game to play, but it can be educational as well. Teachers have known the benefits of this simple children’s game for decades. It’s a well-known fact that kids love learning through games.
By playing a couple of times a week kiddos can improve listening skills, learn about body parts (Simon Says Rub Your Knees), and improve gross motor skills (Simon Says Pat Your Head and Rub Your Belly).
Here are some of the other benefits of playing Simon says:
Thinking for Themselves
Right off the bat, your child will learn about decision-making, and following directions, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking.
Learning New Information
Teachers everywhere like to come up with creative games to help children learn.
In Science lessons, you could ask students to point to the scientific name of a particular bone or muscle.
In language you could do Simon Says in a different language the children are learning.
For young children, you could use Simon says to teach colors or shapes:
- Simon says point to something green
- Simon says point to something round
Learning to Spell
If you want to sneak in some spelling, a fun way to do so is by playing Simon Says. Teach your kid to become a sneaky Simon by spelling out some commands instead of saying them. For example:
- Simon Says touch your t-o-e-s
- Simon Says lay on the g-r-o-u-n-d
- Simon Says d-a-n-c-e
- Touch your b-e-l-l-y
By spelling out the commands, both the players and Simon will need to pay extra attention to what they’re doing/spelling. The older the players, the more complex the words can be.
Simon Says is a game for all generations. You can play it indoors, as a backyard game, with a friend and even with 100+ people!
It’s a game that’s easy to learn and easy to teach. It’s a game that’s been passed onto several generations, and that will surely remain popular for decades to come.
Overall, I hope you and your child will grow to love it just as much as my entire family has. The important thing to remember is to always have fun with it. Let your imagination run wild when you’re coming up with commands, and you’ll never grow tired of Simon Says!
Simon Says is a classic game that will never go out of style!