How to Play Simon Says – The Classic Listening Game!

Simon Says Read This Game Tutorial

Simon says: “learn how to play Simon says!” If you don’t yet fully comprehend this fun family outdoors game, then by the time you finish this game tutorial, we can assure you that you’ll understand the former joke. Simon says is a great classic game to play with people of all ages. Not only is it fun, but it helps develop strong listening abilities, which is why it is used heavily throughout education programs for young children in the US and other countries in the world. The game also has a historical connotation too as it dates all the way back to the Roman era. It was originally known as “cicero dicit fac hoc”, which was Latin for “Cicero says do this.” At the time, Cicero was a statesman of Rome, and his political word was law, and therefore must be obeyed at all cost. Not to worry though, this fun outdoors activity is not at all as serious at its original Roman origins, but just as iconic!


Simon says requires no materials other than a group of friends, family, and other spontaneous individuals who want to have a great time together partaking in this outdoor activity!

How To Play Simon Says

  1. For this game, you’ll want to designate one player as “Simon”, also referred to as the instructor.
  2. Simon will give directions to the players by either saying “Simon says do [insert gesture, activity, etc.]”, or by saying “do [insert gesture]”.
  3. This is where the listening component comes in. If the instructor began by saying “Simon says…” and you do the said gesture, then you’re fine and get to keep on playing! But, if you the command didn’t begin with “Simon says”, and/or you do the wrong gesture, you’re out! It is key to note that you’re only out if Simon catches you.
  4. Alternatively, some versions of this game include “watchers”, specific individuals designated to watch players (other than Simon) to make sure they are only responding to when Simon says, as well as if they are doing the appropriate gesture called for by Simon.

Team Size

One of the amazing things about Simon Says is that the game can be played with any size party. Yet, the ideal game contains at least five players, including Simon. As the saying goes, the more the merrier, although if you are handling parties with upwards of ten people, then you might want to include watchers into your game to ensure every player other than Simon is kept a close eye on.

Simon Says Game Variation

Change the name of the game to match your party theme!  For example, rename the game from Simon Says to Princess Says for a princess themed party.

Time Required

Finally, the time of each Simon says round is all dependent on the amount of players in the party. Generally each round is typically fast regardless, and shouldn’t take longer than fifteen to twenty minutes or so. Of course, the biggest variable when it comes to time is how well your party listens! If you’re playing with a keen lot, then you’ll be sure to stay a little longer, but not to worry, time passes in a blink when you’re having a blast with this outdoor game!

Simon Says Video Tutorial