Simon Says is one of the best games to teach your child good listening skills as each command requires listening to sets of information: They have to identify if they must follow the command or not. They then have to listen to understand what they must do. Mindful game: Balancing on one foot. Purpose: Body awareness, Focus, Awareness, Mindful seeing.
What if you have a group of boisterous children on a rainy or snowy day? How do you keep them engaged? We’ll tell you how. Play the Simon Says game and keep them occupied. We are sure you had played this classic game when you were a child. Relive your childhood by playing the game with your children.
Plan a session of Simon Says for kids to unwind. Moreover, Simon Says is a great group game to get your children to do things you want them to do while enjoying themselves.
The game is quite straightforward, yet exciting, just right for an afternoon of fun and laughter. Let’s first learn how Simon Says is played.
How To Play Simon Says?
Almost everyone knows how to play Simon Says. But if you are one of the few who haven’t heard about this game, here are the rules of the game. It is extremely straightforward, and you and your children will be playing it like a pro in no time.
- Choose a leader to be Simon. If you have a group of children, you could be Simon.
- Simon decides what the other players must do.
- The leader, Simon, gives commands, such as, “Simon says, touch your head,” or “Simon says, look to your left.” Simon could even shout out commands without saying, “Simon says …”.
- Whenever Simon issues a command, the other children must complete the task. When the leader does not say “Simon says” and only gives a command, the other children should not do anything.
- Children who fail to perform a task that begins with “Simon says…” are out of the game.
- Also, children who do a task when the leader doesn’t say the phrase, “Simon says…” are out of the game.
- The last player standing is the winner. They can become Simon for the next round.
50 Ideas For The Simon Says Game
Here is a list of ideas for playing Simon Says. Do not forget to mix things up and say, “Simon says…” only occasionally. You can alter the speed with which you announce the tasks. You can also change the complexity of the tasks according to the age group of the children.
- Touch your nose
- Stand on one foot
- Jump on one foot
- Touch your head (or any body part)
- Turn to page 30 and memorize the title of the chapter
- Trumpet like an elephant
- Jump like a monkey
- Hop up and down
- Hug yourself
- Lick your elbows
- Touch your right knee with your left hand
- Cry like a baby
- Moo like a cow
- Flap your hands like a bird
- Crawl like a baby
- Tap your head and rub your tummy at the same time
- Walk like a penguin
- Drink a glass of water
- Mew like a cat
- Bark like a dog
- Jump like a kangaroo
- Dance for ten seconds
- Touch your left shoulder with your right hand
- Do three push-ups
- Run in a circle
- Sit and stand
- Roll on the ground
- Spin in a circle with your arms out
- Jump up and down ten times
- Clap five times in a row
- Pick your red car
- Brush your teeth
- Do a silly dance
- Hug a friend
- Laugh like Santa
- Reach for the sky
- Run on the spot
- Draw with your feet
- Lift your feet sideways
- Sing your favorite song
- Call out the name of each person in the room
- Wink with your left eye
- Walk backward
- Kiss your tummy
- Tickle your left foot
- Make a funny face
- Do the rain clap
- Blink five times and then say your name
- Touch each of your toes with every finger
Benefits Of The Simon Says Game For Your Child
Although, Simon Says might seem like a simple game, it is a great way to improve your child’s motor and lateral thinking skills and develop their creativity.
Simon Says has been played traditionally to bring some discipline in the proceedings when the children get restless. It is also played to improve children’s memory and concentration. They have to memorize what Simon says and perform the task as expected. This involves brainpower and muscle power, as they have to interpret a command and move their body parts to finish the task. This game is a great way to pull your children away from screens and add a little physical activity to their day. It is also easy to do with children of mixed ages.
The possibilities of the tasks for Simon Says are endless. You can even get chores done this way. They will enjoy the process and ask for more. So, get ready to have some great laughs!
Recommended ArticlesThe cool thing about mindfulness is that you can practice during ordinary activities and even make familiar games a mindfulness practice.
Any routine activity can be made into a mindfulness practice when you bring your full attention to it, but these games are perfect for nurturing mindfulness.
You can introduce the concept of mindfulness to kids with games like Jenga and Simon Says. Now that sounds like a lot of fun, right?
When I teach mindfulness to adults, I like to mix in some kids activities to make it playful on occasion.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be so serious.
Especially with kids you want to make it fun and engaging to keep your practice going.
The following games help children to learn:
and how to calm down.
Ready, set, PLAY!
1. Mindful game: Balancing on one foot
Purpose: Body awareness, Focus, Awareness, Mindful seeing
Best For: Ages 3+, groups or one-on-one
What you need: Nothing
This is a simple game to develop focus and body awareness. It can be used to combat boredom while standing in a line, for example.
Ask your child to focus her gaze on a point slightly below eye level. Then ask her to stand on one leg and keep her gaze on the focal point. How long can she balance like this?
Other Games Like Simon Says
Try the other leg. To make it more difficult, engage your child in conversation. Ask her to sing something or to balance with her eyes closed. With a group of kids, you can see who can balance the longest time.
See if balancing becomes easier when you add mindful breathing to it.
2. Mindful game: Jenga
Purpose: Body awareness, Focus, Awareness, Understanding emotions
Best For: Ages 6+, one-on-one
What you need: Jenga the game
Jenga isn’t just for kids–it’s a lot of fun for everyone. It teaches you how to pay attention, too. You can make it mindful by asking your child to pay attention to whatever it is that distracts her from the game.
Is she able to notice what made her lose focus?
Did thoughts or emotions make her lose concentration?
How about if you ask her tough questions as you play?
See how the game changes when you find a calm and clear mind. Try a few mindful breaths and see how it affects the results. Get Jenga here.
3. Mindful game: Pennies game
Purpose: Detail Awareness, Focus, Awareness
Best For: Ages 3+, groups or one-on-one
What you need: One penny for each player, a basket
Simon Says Online
Everyone gets a penny and a minute to study it in detail. The pennies are then placed back in the basket. Each player has to pick their penny out of all the pennies and say how they knew it was theirs. This game can be played with different objects.
4. Mindful game: Balancing relay
Purpose: Body awareness, Focus, Awareness
Best For: Ages 5+, groups or one-on-one
What you need: A spoon and some water (or a spoon and a potato) per team
Similar to the egg-and-spoon race, this game teaches both focus and body awareness. The idea is to carry a spoon full of water to the next kid without spilling a drop. You can make it into a relay race if you are playing with a group of kids. To take it to the next level, ask your child to walk backwards or sideways while balancing the spoon.
5. Mindful game: Simon Says
Purpose: Mindful listening and seeing, Focus, Awareness
Best For: Ages 4+, groups or one-on-one
What you need: Room to move
The classic Simon Says game uses both mindful seeing and listening skills. When the leader (the designated Simon) issues her command verbally and shows what to do visually, kids are challenged to pay attention to both visual and auditory input and discern whether or not to act.
The clue is that there’s a conflict between what they see visually and what they are instructed to do verbally.
Remember, you are only allowed to act when the leader says “Simon says” before the instruction.
We tend to act without thinking, and this game demonstrates just that.
Simon Says is a fun way to practice mindfulness by paying attention to outer experiences.
Here’s how the game works.
Choose who will take the role of Simon. It’s best if you model first. Next, Simon stands in front of the player(s) and issues instructions for physical actions and shows how to do them.
The instructions should be followed only if prefaced with the phrase “Simon says”.
Players win when they follow an instruction that is preceded by the phrase “Simon says”.
Players fail if they perform the action without the “Simon says” phrase or if they fail to perform the action when the phrase “Simon says” is used before the instruction.
If you want keep the game less competitive, you don’t have to eliminate players when they fail.
When you play with just one child, you can decide to switch roles when the player fails three times.
It doesn’t matter if you can actually perform the physical tasks, an attempt is enough. The ability to distinguish fake commands is what matters in this fun game.
Here are some amusing examples:
Simon says play air guitar. Simon demonstrates playing air guitar.
Simons says waddle like a penguin. Simon does a penguin impression.
Simon says cry like a baby. Simon cries like a baby.
Simon says tickle your feet. Simon tickles his feet.
Simon says giggle. Simon giggles.
Simon says freeze. Simon freezes.
Simon says spin around once. Simon spins around.
Simon says spin around twice. Simon spins around twice.
Spin around three times. Simon spins around thrice.
Did you attempt to spin around after this last command?
If you spun around, you failed. Simon didn’t say “Simon says” before the command. :-)
When you are done playing, talk about the experience. Ask your child if it was hard or easy to pay attention to the instructions. Was it hard to pay attention to the instructions when they were excited and having fun?
Discuss how paying attention to what we see and hear could be helpful.
I hope that you enjoyed these ideas.
Indoor Games Like Simon Says
You can find this and 150 more playful mindfulness games and activities in my book:
Wishing you many mindful moments :-)
Chief Mindfulness Ninja @ Blissful Kids
PS You may like this one too. It’s a hoot!
Chris Bergstrom is a bestselling mindfulness author, the founder of BlissfulKids.com, a blog dedicated to children’s mindfulness, and a dad who is thrilled to practice mindfulness with his son. He is a certified mindfulness facilitator and trained to teach mindfulness to students in K-12. He’s also known as “the dad who tried 200+ mindfulness activities” and has taught meditation for more than 15 years.