Materials: open-ended, none required
Simon Says is a great activity for Circle Time or as a transition between activities. Simon Says is a great activity for practicing such cognitive skills as self-regulation and inhibitory control. Inhibitory control is the ability to stop yourself from doing something. So, in the case of Simon Says it's remembering to not listen to the teacher's instructions unless "Simon says" comes first. These skills are very important in school readiness. Children need the ability to control their impulses, especially in a classroom with 25 other children and lots of distractions!
Here's how to play:
Introduce yourself as the role of "Simon" and explain that your kids should only follow your instructions when you say "Simon says..." first.
There are a few ways you can structure this to make a smooth transition.
- When a child is "out" you can have them go wash their hands (or whatever the next step is)
- Use your role as Simon to excuse kids one at a time to go do the next thing. For example: "Simon Says, Natalie can go sit down for snack"