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Brent Sims
Brent Sims

Simon Says: A Game for Learning and Practicing English Vocabulary and Grammar

Simon Says: A Fun and Educational Game for Kids

Do you remember playing Simon Says as a child? It is a classic game that has been around for centuries and is popular with kids of different ages. It is fun, active, and makes a great listening activity. But did you know that it also has many educational benefits? In this article, we will explore what Simon Says is, how to play it, why it is good for kids, and some variations to make it more challenging and interesting.

What is Simon Says?

Simon Says is a children's game for three or more players. One player takes the role of "Simon" and issues instructions (usually physical actions such as "jump in the air" or "stick out your tongue") to the other players, which should be followed only when prefaced with the phrase "Simon says."

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For example, if Simon says "Simon says touch your nose," the players should touch their nose. If Simon says "Clap your hands," the players should not clap their hands. Anyone who follows an instruction that is not preceded by "Simon says" is out and must sit down. The last player standing is the winner and becomes Simon in the next round.

How to play Simon Says

Here are the rules of the Simon Says game for kids:

  • Gather your group of players. Simon Says is normally played with three or more players, but you can also play it with just two people or even alone. It is more fun with a larger group, though.

  • Designate someone as Simon. Within your group of players, choose one person to be Simon. Whoever is chosen to be Simon will then stand in front of and face the rest of the players in the group.

  • Understand the role of Simon. Simon is the leader and commander of the group of listeners. Simon gives commands to the group of listeners. Simon's commands can be given in two different ways: beginning a command by saying, "Simon says..." or simply stating the command.

  • Understand the role of the listeners. Listeners must listen closely to what Simon commands them to do. If Simon gives a command by first stating, "Simon says..." the listeners must obey Simon's command. If Simon gives a command without first saying, "Simon says..." the listeners must not obey his command. If a listener incorrectly obeys or does not obey Simon's command, they are eliminated from the rest of the game round, and must sit out until another game round is started.

  • Give commands as Simon. Because you are trying to eliminate as many listeners as you can, you should try and make your commands tricky to follow. For example, frequently switch up when you give commands preceded with, "Simon says..." Give your commands quickly so your listeners have to make quick decisions on whether to obey your command or not. When someone incorrectly obeys one of your (Simon's commands), call them out so they can be eliminated from the remaining group of players still in the game. As Simon, you can get creative with your commands; however, some common commands Simon can give include:

  • Touch your toes.

  • Hop on one foot.

  • Dance around the room.

  • Do some jumping jacks.

What age is appropriate for Simon Says?

This game is suitable for multiple ages to play. All you need to do is tweak the commands and rules to suit the age of the kids. If playing with school-aged kids, give more complex commands or give multi-step directions For example, you can say "Simon says touch your nose, then your ears, then your chin." If playing with toddlers or preschoolers, give simpler commands or use body parts that they are familiar with. For example, you can say "Simon says clap your hands" or "Simon says show me your eyes."

Benefits of Simon Says

Simon Says is not only a fun game, but also a beneficial one. Here are some of the advantages of playing Simon Says with your kids :

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Gets kids moving

Simon Says is a great way to get kids active and burn some energy. It involves physical movements that can improve their coordination, balance, and motor skills. It can also help them develop their spatial awareness and sense of direction. Playing Simon Says can also boost their cardiovascular health and fitness.

Provides a brain break

Simon Says is a perfect game to play when kids need a break from studying or doing homework. It can help them relax and refresh their minds. It can also stimulate their creativity and imagination, as they can come up with different commands or actions. Playing Simon Says can also improve their mood and reduce stress.

Enhances listening skills

Simon Says is an excellent game to practice listening skills and following directions. It requires kids to pay attention to what Simon says and what he does not say. It also challenges them to process the information quickly and respond accordingly. Playing Simon Says can also improve their memory and concentration.

Requires no preparation

One of the best things about Simon Says is that it does not need any equipment or materials. All you need is a group of players and a space to play. You can play it indoors or outdoors, at home or at school, anytime and anywhere. It is a simple and convenient game that anyone can enjoy.

Variations of Simon Says

If you want to spice up the game and make it more fun and challenging, you can try some of these variations of Simon Says :

Reverse Simon Says

In this variation, the players have to do the opposite of what Simon says. For example, if Simon says "Simon says touch your head," the players have to touch their feet. If Simon says "Touch your knees," the players have to touch their knees.

Speed Simon Says

In this variation, Simon has to give commands as fast as possible, without pausing or repeating. The players have to keep up with the pace and follow the commands correctly. This can make the game more exciting and difficult.

Body Part Simon Says

In this variation, Simon has to use only body parts in his commands. For example, he can say "Simon says elbow your neighbor" or "Simon says wink your eye." The players have to use the same body part as Simon in their actions.

Simon Says Theme

In this variation, Simon has to choose a theme for his commands, such as animals, colors, shapes, or sports. For example, he can say "Simon says act like a monkey" or "Simon says find something blue." The players have to follow the commands according to the theme.

Simon Says Blending

In this variation, Simon has to blend two commands into one word. For example, he can say "Simondance" or "Simontouch." The players have to figure out what the command is and do it.

Simon Says Rhyme

In this variation, Simon has to rhyme his commands with a word that he chooses. For example, he can say "Simon says rhyme with cat" or "Simon says rhyme with red." The players have to come up with a word that rhymes with the given word and do an action related to it.


Simon Says is a fun and educational game for kids that can help them improve their physical, mental, and social skills. It is easy to play and requires no preparation. It can also be modified in different ways to make it more interesting and challenging. So what are you waiting for? Grab your kids and start playing Simon Says today!


  • What is the origin of Simon Says?

  • The origin of Simon Says is not clear, but some sources suggest that it dates back to ancient Rome, where a leader named Marcus Antonius would give orders to his soldiers followed by the phrase "Hoc dicit Marcus Antonius" (Marcus Antonius says this).[^ According to one theory, the tradition behind the use of 'Simon' as the controller of the game may trace back to the year 1264, when at the Battle of Lewes, Simon de Montfort captured King Henry III and his son, the future King Edward I. Another theory suggests that it dates back to ancient Rome, where a leader named Marcus Antonius would give orders to his soldiers followed by the phrase "Hoc dicit Marcus Antonius" (Marcus Antonius says this). However, the origin of the phrase is not clear, and it may have been chosen for its alliterative effect (Simon says).

What are some tips for playing Simon Says?


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