7 Simon Says Ideas That Kids of All Ages Love

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“Simon Says” is a classic brain break for kids that can be easily adapted to make it more exciting and enjoyable for everyone involved. Whether you’re playing with younger children or older, adding a twist can help keep children involved and allow them a break from prolonged concentration.

Below, discover 7 inventive Simon Says ideas to provide sensory experiences and keep everyone on their toes.

Key Takeaways

Simon Says is an easy brain break to incorporate both at home and at school.

There are several different commands or prompts to use in Simon Says to help children stay engaged, from exercises to making sound effects.

Studies have shown that brain breaks offer a wide variety of benefits in cognitive health and functioning.  elit. Aenean diam dolor, accumsan sed rutrum vel, dapibus et leo.

How to Play Simon Says

Simon Says is a simple game that can be enjoyed by children of all ages with little to no setup required. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started playing.

First, you will need to gather all the players. Simon Says can be played with as few as three players. However, encouraging more people to get involved can make the game more fun. For younger children who may not be familiar with the rules, this can be a good time to teach them how to play. 

Overall, the main goal in this entertaining brain break is to follow what the leader (“Simon”) says. The leader will give a command to all the players, and they will have to decided whether to follow it or not. Players should only follow the command if it begins with “Simon says”, such as “Simon says to jump on one leg”. 

Players can be eliminated in two ways: not following a command Simon gives or following a command that didn’t begin with “Simon says”. 

kids doing a simon says ideas
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Simon Says Ideas

Each Simon Says idea is designed to bring out laughter and creativity while increasing body awareness and engaging motor skills. Several of these ideas can also be tied into current school lessons or studies, such as mimicking an animal they’re learning about. 

Below, discover 7 different Simon Says ideas, each one focused on encouraging movement or creativity. Some of these will focus more on gross motor skills, allowing children to move around. Others, however, will implore children to get more creativity with their completion of the challenge, learning unique ways to meet the requirements of what “Simon says”. 

Animal Movements

Commands focused on animal movements are a great way to engage children both physically and creatively. During these commands, children will need to think about the best way to represent the animal through actions alone before eventually demonstrating what they think is the way that animal moves.

Silly Faces

Not all Simon Says prompts involve getting out of your seat. Although physical activity is essential for children of all ages, not every brain break during the day needs to include it. Instead, brain breaks can also be a time to focus on creativity and silliness.

Having your children perform different types of silly faces can be an excellent way to provide a break from concentration and engage in a socially and emotionally stimulating activity.

girls making silly faces
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Miming Actions

Prompts that focus on performing everyday actions without sound encourage children to explore their knowledge of the world. Examples can be miming brushing their teeth or hair, baking a pie, and petting a dog or cat.

Exercise and Balancing

If you’re looking for a quick game of Simon Says and don’t have time to prepare different ideas or prompts, exercises and balancing can be great commands to incorporate. These are easy for the children to perform with little to no guidance, and they can be a great way to ensure children engage in physical activity throughout the day.  

Some examples of easy exercise prompts that can help enhance balance and coordination include:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Toe touches
  • Standing on one leg.

Animal Sounds

Animal sounds can easily pair with other sound effect commands. This can also be a great way to highlight different animals being taught, especially those that may have more complex sounds.

If you’re looking to highlight creativity and movement in a single prompt, animal sounds can also be paired with animal movements. These can be complex commands that may be better for older groups of children.

Tips and Tricks

One of the best parts of Simon Says is that it is so versatile and adaptable. This allows it to be beneficial for children of nearly age with a few changes and added twists.

If you’re looking to make this game for stimulating and fun for older children, consider making it more difficult. This can be done by increasing the speed at which you give commands, utilizing repetition, or even incorporating mult-step commands. 

At home, there is more flexibility to incorporate additional objects into Simon Says. This includes incorporating objects such as sensory swings into prompts or utilizing household objects.

kids outside with legs in air
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Simon Says Benefits

Although Simon Says may seem like a simple game, incorporating this into your children’s routine can come with a variety of benefits. Some of the benefits of playing Simon Says as a brain break during the day include:

  • Enhanced listening skills
  • Improved attention and focus
  • Physical activity
  • Better understanding of following directions
  • Improved Social Interaction
  • Bolstered cognitive skills
  • Better self-control.

Overall, “Simon Says” is versatile, and it supports various aspects of cognitive, physical, and social development. 

More Resources

“Simon Says” is only one example of easy brain breaks for classrooms. Taking time away from focused concentration and allowing children to engage other parts of their brain is essential during the day. Other examples of brain breaks you can incorporate in the classroom or at home include: Minute-To-Win-It challenges, puzzles and riddles, and other engaging activities.

There have been several studies conducted to help understand the benefits and application of brain breaks like “Simon Says”. Resources like this June 2021 study help illustrate the benefit of pausing focused concentration to engage the brain in other activities, both mentally and physically.


  • Megan Martin

    Megan is a professional writer with over 5 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University. In her free time, Megan is an avid birdwatcher who enjoys spending time with her cats and watching documentaries with her husband.

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