1-2-3 Brain Break: Good Ol’ Simon Says

Brain Breaks are short activities, often only 1-3 minutes long, that help kids get ready to learn or refocus on the task at hand. They often involve physical activity and movement though relaxing activities can also boost mental brain power.

So, in addition to encouraging your kids to participate in these fun breaks, join the kiddos and have some refreshing, stress-free fun yourself, too!

Supplies Needed:

Two or more people – one Leader, one or more Followers

How to Play Simon Says

The Leader says “Simon Says’ followed by a direction such as “touch your toes.” The Follower then does the direction. On the other hand, if the Leader does not say “Simon Says.” the Follower does not do the direction.

Some Simon Says Actions to Get You Started

Turn around in a circle

Hop to the right

Wiggle your fingers

Stick out your tongue

Make a happy face

Moo like a cow

Run in place

Wink your left eye

Activity Extensions:

  • Leader can try to make the game more difficult by speeding up the pace
  • Leader may call out multi-step directions
  • Make a visual choice board of Simon Says commands
  • Flip your roles of leader and follower

The Why” behind the Activity:

Simon Says is a classic game that’s as important for kids today as it ever was. While it’s great for kids to practice following and giving instructions, it’s also helpful in developing body awareness and motor skills too. The game also benefits kids in their self-regulation skills which can support the development of language and literacy skills.

Check out these books for more classic game fun!

The Kids’ Guide to Classic Games by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt

If You Like Exploring, Adventuring, or Teamwork Games, Try This! by Daniel Mauleón

Unplugged Play. Preschool: 233 Activities & Games for Ages 3-5 by Bobbi Conner

Unplugged Play. Grade School: 216 Activities & Games for Ages 6-10 by Bobbi Conner