This is a classic listening and responding game – who can ‘simon’ catch out?
Choose one person to be ‘Simon’, if it is your first time playing with a group, you can choose the adult leader. If the group has played before, it is fun to let the young people take a turn at being ‘Simon’.
Simon’s job is to call out commands.
If they begin their command by saying “Simon says…” then everyone must do the action.
If they do not begin with “Simon says…” then the players should not do the action.
For example, if they call out, “Simon says, jump up and down!” then all players must jump up and down.
But if Simon calls out “do a chicken dance!” then players should NOT do a chicken dance.
Fun fact: This game is played around the world, in many places the person you must obey is still Simon. But in France it is Jacques, in Finnish “The captain commands…” and in Turkish “Jacob says”. You could find out if there are any other variations around the world and try playing them instead.
Tips: If playing online, make sure that all the young people are able to be seen standing up.
Take It Further
If you are playing in a group, you could try this variation that lets you get to know each other a bit better. You might also like to try out some other great action games such as 40 Ways of Getting There or In the Manner of the Word.
There are many other great games in the book Games, Games, Games, a publication with around 250 group games. The games are essentially co-operative in nature and develop skills and attitudes which encourage learning together and supporting one another.