The Wetfoot Blog

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mark's Activity of the Month - April

A New Twist on “Simon Says”

In my last post I talked about ways to take old activities and mold them to fit your particular needs or outcomes. Here is a really old game that is quickly becoming one of my favorite introductory activities. Lately I have been using it to introduce concepts of personal responsibility, trust, awareness and integrity, but you can probably adapt it and change it in a number of ways to fit your situation.

Here is how I set it up: Have the group spread out in front of you so they can see you. Ask for a show of hands for people who know how to play Simon Says. Go through a quick explanation even if most say they know the game (just to be sure everyone is clear and also because, especially in the beginning of a program, some people will say they know something when they really don’t). I also do a short practice round just so everyone is clear on how things work. In this game a violation of the rules is when you do something that Simon did no tell you to do. Have participants give themselves a point for each mistake they make.

In this version, nobody is ever out of the game. I usually talk a bit about personal responsibility (and may do a couple of other lead up activities before Simon Says that relate to personal responsibility) before I start the game itself.

Some Tips:
• Start slow and keep things obvious.

• I do gradually speed up and start to make things confusing and more complicated. I may for instance say something like, “Simon says raise your right foot, while raising my left foot” or something like this.

• At some point I may stop and ask for a show of hands. “Is there anyone who does not have any points. Raise your hand.” Of course…anyone who now raises their hand has a point…because Simon did not say raise your hand.

This is always a game that results in fun and laughter and also a game that could lend itself to further expansion. One idea would be to include actions such as:

• “Simon says give the person on your right a high five.”

• “Simon says to shake hands with two people near you and tell them your name."

As always, use your creativity and have fun!

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