Simon Says Variations
Just your child.
How to do it
Play the game asking your child to touch, point or move different parts of the body. As they become confident in this game try adding in phrases that relate to left and right, such as ’Simon says touch your left knee with your right hand!’
In this version of Simon Says the idea is to help your child understand some of the language of instructions for direction and placement of themselves and objects. Use words and phrases such as: in front, next to, behind, on the left of, on the right of, on top of, under the, underneath, stand beside, inside, outside, over the top, around, turn left, turn right, straight on, backwards, forwards, reverse and opposite.
So you might say ‘Simon says jump in front of the chair!’ or ‘Simon says put the red car inside the box!’ or ‘Simon says march around the coffee table!’
A stick about 50 - 60 cm long, sticky labels or pieces of paper about 8 cm long and 4 cm wide, sellotape and pens/pencils.
How to do it
This is a great outdoor activity at any time of the year. Pick a start point; it could be your front door. At this point on one of the labels ask your child to write one or two words/draw a picture or symbol that will remind them later which direction they went. This is then wrapped around and stuck to the top or bottom of the stick. At the next point, which does not have to be very close to the first, ask your child to complete another label, which is attached to the stick next to the last one. This continues throughout your journey. The pictures may show things that caught their attention, for instance a pile of rubbish that shouldn’t have been there, which you may have discussed, an unusual tree or car or perhaps someone’s dog or a friend’s house. The idea is not to write detailed notes, but put down memory joggers so that once at home they can talk through the changes in direction of the journey. They could also draw a map of the journey.
Toys you can use to make a location or maze. For older children you could use maps.
How to do it
Try to use items and themes that your child enjoys playing with.
Using the language for placement and direction, talk through how you are moving the toy. Then either give instruction or ask your child to give you instruction on how to get to a location in the game.
Only give one instruction at a time where possible and increase the number of instructions as their ability and confidence grows.
The language that can be developed through this kind of play is; in front, next to, behind, on the left of, on the right of, on top of, under the, underneath, stand beside, inside, outside, over the top, around, turn left, turn right, straight on, backwards, forwards, reverse and opposite.