Virtual Team Building Events

Activity Description

Simon Says What is an entertaining variation of the well-known Simon Says game geared towards interactive experiential Group Activities

Benefits of Simon Says What Energizer Game

  • Very energetic
  • Makes you think
  • Everybody is involved
  • Fun and amusing
  • No props needed

How to play Simon Says What Group Energizer Game

Everybody can get involved with this game, it is an easy activity where you get to follow the leader. Have the group form a circle; they can also stand in lines or just evenly space themselves out in a designated area. Everybody must be able to see and hear the leader or facilitator of the group.


Start off by telling everyone that you have a name, and it is Simon. You are going to be the leader of the group, which means everybody must follow all your commands. Remind the group about the main rule; they must only follow the command that is preceded by the words “Simon Says…”

Inform the group that you will only be using a certain set of commands. Begin the first round of the game with these commands:

  • Right arm up and right arm down
  • Left arm up and left arm down
  • Lift both arms up and both arms down

You can include different commands, but make sure to do corresponding movements yourself. For example, illustrate by moving your own right leg forward and right leg back – left leg forward and left leg back. This is not compulsory but leaving out your own movements, could make it more confusing, which would make things a little more interesting.

After the first round, allow the group a small break. Inform the group that once the game officially begins, anybody who performs a command which does not have “Simon Says” in front of it or if they do a move incorrectly, they get a point against their name. This method is better than having people eliminated during the game.


The best way to confuse people is to rapidly give commands of “Simon Says” When everybody is just getting into it, just as quickly add a command without “Simon Says”.  This should get quite a few people making mistakes. Continue the game for a few more rounds, then declare the game at an end.

Here are a few tips on how to mislead the group with varying commands:

  • While busy with a round, ask the group a question. Direct them to raise their hand to give their answer… caught you!
  • Encourage the group during a round by asking them to lift their arms up and breathe in and out… caught you!
  • You can change the way you use your voice, for example, when asking them to put their arms down, your voice also goes down and vice versa. Do this a couple of times then change your voice again.
  • Include other commands – clap hands, jump forward/back, head up/down
  • When the game comes to an end, the person who has the least amount of points wins.

Contextual Framing Ideas for Simon Says What Group Game

Have any of you come across somebody who says something, but then does the exact opposite of what they said? When taking leadership into consideration, if you ask a person to do something you are not willing to do, how can you expect them to willingly follow through. Let’s investigate this issue by playing the following game, a game most of us know as “Simon Says…”

The activity itself is simple and easy to understand, but when actually playing the game, it becomes a lot more difficult. Why do you think that is? Well, it could be many things, but mostly because everyone absorbs information mainly in three ways:

  • Visual
  • Audio
  • Mental

All this information is gathered at a speed and all at the same time, which is why you can get a little confused at times. Our brain is a highly complex organ, which does many things. But when it comes to performing multiple tasks, things can get tricky. Many people say they can multi-task, but in order to do something properly, we need to focus on one thing at a time. Too much information can lead to overload and confusion. Each of us is geared towards learning in different ways, the brain will often take out what’s most important according to your style of learning.  This could be based on how you see things, hear things or feel things. Think about how you learn best and how it can affect your chances of success for the following activity…

Step-by-Step Instructions to facilitate Simon Says What Game

  • Gather your group and have them stand in front of you
  • Inform everybody that you go by the name ‘Simon’ and they must follow all the commands you give.
  • The group must only perform the commands when the words “Simon Says” are spoken.
  • When a group member performs a command without the words “Simon Says”, or makes an incorrect move, they get a point against their name.
  • Officially begin the game with the first round. Give commands that have corresponding movements. For example, you give the command clap your hands, while clapping your own hands. To make it more challenging you can leave out your own movements and just supply the command.
  • Play one round for about 30 seconds
  • Continue to play several rounds more and then end the game.
  • In the end, the person in the group who has the least amount of points will then be the winner.

Facilitators and Leaders Tips

Instead of giving points to those who make a mistake, you could just eliminate each person. The point system is a better option, as it is a lot more fun and everyone remains engaged until the end.

Make sure to have a clear view of everyone, so that they can see you properly and you can see them clearly. You want to be able to see the funny moves some people make and accurately give points to those who make mistakes.

During the game, ensure you encourage the players, as there is bound to be quite a few mistakes made. Even though the mistakes are sometimes hilarious, it is best to focus more on the outcome of the activity. Helping everyone to develop their listening skills as well as improve their critical thinking abilities.

When it comes to the point system, try not to tally up the point at the end. The points are mainly just there to encourage and keep people interested in the game. Again, focus on the outcome of the activity and not on who got the least or most points.

Debriefing and Reflection Strategies

Here are some questions, which can help the group process their experience of playing the game ‘Simon Says’

  • What did you observe during the game?
  • How did you react when you made a mistake? How did you feel and why do you think you felt this way?
  • Were there penalties for making mistakes? Did you feel stressed?
  • When playing, did you make assumptions on the next command?
  • Did you improve as the game went ahead?
  • Can you think of an instance in your life where you have heard something, but seen something entirely different?
  • What do you think the consequences are of different words and actions?

Variations of the Simon Says What Game

  • No Noise allowed: When playing the game, if somebody makes a noise, says something or laughs, they will gain a point against their name.
  • Add a round of clapping: Include the command of “Simon Says, clap hands – once, twice etc. Make it even more fun, when nearing the end of the round, by asking everyone to give themselves a round of applause… caught you!
  • Various commands: Include some fun commands such as, stand on one leg, do a squat or jumping jack…
  • Moving around: Play the game as usual, but have the group move around from one point to another. You can give commands like, “take two steps to the left” or “move five steps forwards” etc. This way you can attempt to move a group from one side of a playing field to the other side. You can keep the point system for this version, or you can ask the person/s who made a mistake to start over at the starting point. Starting over might make the game longer, so the point system remains the best option.

Simon Says What Energizer Game

Basic Details
Property Type : Energizers
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Energisers
Focus On : Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Having Fun
Outcome Based : Yes
Facilities : Indoor, Outdoor
Props Required : None
Duration : 6 - 15 minutes
Exertion Level : Medium
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30, 31+
Age : Children, Youth, Adults