What Are Some Ideas for Playing "Simon Says"?

Simon Says is an effective way for educators to teach specific behaviors and vocabulary to children. The game can be used to teach body parts at the preschool or kindergarten levels, and educators may use the game to teach scientific names to higher-level students. Simon Says can also be used to teach etiquette or challenge children's imaginations.

Simon Says can help young kids learn the names of body parts by commanding them "Simon says show me your nose," "Simon says point with your right finger," or "Simon says shake your foot." In higher elementary grades, the same game can be used to teach scientific names by giving commands such as "Simon says show me your phalanges," "Simon says touch your cranium," or "Simon says shake your patella."

Simon Says is also a useful game for teaching polite behaviors in preschool and early grades. Useful commands in this vein include "Simon says shake hands with the person next to you." The game can put the imagination to work with creative and unexpected commands such as "Simon says go surfing" or "Simon says roar like a dragon."

Children learn well when playing Simon Says because the game uses the concept of total physical response, in which students use movement and responses that help them to learn vocabulary and other facts in the context of having fun.