Simon says you are going to try something a little different with your students during speech and language. Get some paper. Oh no, Simon did not say to get the paper. Kids of all ages will enjoy playing some different variations of Simon Says. This is a great way to mix things up during your speech and language sessions. As a bonus, it will get you moving and have everyone using their imagination at the same time.
More Traditional if Space is No Issue
The beauty of Simon Says is it can be extremely flexible. You may have your student focus on specific sounds for articulation or it can be open ended to encourage confidence when speaking in front of groups. Speaking of Speech has a Simon Says card that would help children who are stuck playing Simon and unable to think of something. Of course, as the SLP, you can make random cards that work on individual skill sets for each child playing this role. If a child is working on the |th| sound have laminated cards with photos of items to do with |th| or, if they are old enough, just the words. They could act out brushing teeth, putting on a bathrobe, threading a needle, and more.
Simon will act out what they want the other to do. Everyone else in the room needs to pay close attention to see if Simon Says to do it or not. Take turns rotating the roles and focusing on each individual and their goals during the activity. Not only will this help each child to be more confident, it will encourage others to assist their peers. Another option is to make it more of a follow the leader game where it encourages listening and following a sequence of directions.
Creative Space Saving Version
If you are short on space or time, you may want to try a more creative version of Simon Says. This will require paper, pencils, and items to color. This version of Simon Says focuses on listening and how people can interpret directions in different ways. During the activity, you will be working on speech and language skills and reinforcing goals. Give everyone a piece of paper and drawing items on a table near them. Each person should work on a clipboard so nobody can see what their creation looks like. You begin by being Simon and draw at the same time you are giving instruction. Example:
- Simon says draw a large purple circle in the middle of your paper.
- Simon says draw two eyes near the top of your rectangle.
- Draw a green heart in the bottom corner of the rectangle.
- Simon says draw orange curly cues on the top of the rectangle.
Keep going to finish the face. When done have everyone reveal what theirs looks like. Talk about differences and similarities. Ask what was hard to do and what was easy in the steps. Now let others take their turn being Simon. To assist kids in the process, have cards with words that they have been working on that can be incorporated into a simple drawing activity. While faces are fun, you can also try other items and work on directional word use in relation to other items already on the paper.
Connect with home by sending ways to incorporate Simon Says fun into their home. Provide lists of words for them to use/draw/say and make sure translations are provided to encourage participation with multilingual families.