Summary: A classic kids’ icebreaker/stationary game in which the leader, Simon, instructs people to do various actions. The goal is to only do something when Simon says so, and to do nothing when he doesn’t.
Ages: All ages. Recommended number of people: Any size group, including large groups. Messiness factor: No sweat. Materials required: Nothing. Recommended setting: Indoors.
Simon Says Game
Simon Says is a classic game that is traditionally played by kids and families, although it can also work with college students and adults as a lighthearted icebreaker.
How to Play Simon Says
One person plays the role of “Simon”, and he or she stands facing the crowd. Simon explains the rules: “I am Simon. I will give you instructions to do various actions, and you must imitate my actions. I will instruct you to do various things by saying ‘Simon says, do something’, where something is an action like touching your head, waving your hand, and so on. If you do something without me saying ‘Simon says’, then you are eliminated for that round.”
Simon (the game facilitator) then proceeds to say various commands (while demonstrating the action), sometimes beginning them with ‘Simon says’, and other times not.
These commands can include the following (be creative!):
- Pat your head
- Wave hello
- Flex your biceps
- Touch your toes
- Turn around
Strategies for Simon
A good way to get many people eliminated at the very beginning of the game is to explain the rules, and then say: “Ready to play? Okay, everybody stand up.” Whenever many people stand to their feet, they will all be eliminated for that round, because Simon did not say “Simon says stand up to your feet.”
Another way is to give commands very quickly and to try to catch people off guard by not saying “Simon says” on occasion.