Have you ever played Simon Says exercise ball style? This is an easy way to adapt a timeless game of Simon Says but add in more range of motion, muscle strengthening and spatial relationships. It is more of a challenge when you use a large, exercise ball but if that is not available grab a large beach ball which is lighter weight. No beach balls available? Grab a kickball or playground ball? No balls available? Grab a pillow. Just grab something large enough that requires two hands to hold.
Give each child playing an exercise ball or a large beach ball. Provide the usual directions of a Simon Says game but add in some additional steps. For example “Simon says….”
- Put the ball over your head.
- Hold the ball on your right side.
- Hold the ball on your left side.
- Squeeze the ball between your knees.
- Put the ball behind your back.
- Sit on the ball.
- Roll on your belly over the ball.
- Put the ball on top of the desk.
- Hold the ball next to the chair.
- Place the ball between your back and the wall.
- Put your left foot on the ball.
- Put both hands on the side of the ball.
- Put your right foot under the ball.
- Touch the ball with your left foot, right hand and your chin.
- Bounce the ball three times.
By adding in the extra location directions you are also reinforcing right versus left and spatial relationships. The large ball encourages bilateral skills and crossing midline. Simon Says incorporates body awareness, motor planning, crossing midline and balance.
Working with a group of children and only have one large ball? Play hot potato. Remind the children they always have to hold the ball with two hands (or two feet)! Position the children in standing in a large circle with some space between each child. Turn the music on and pass the ball around the circle. Try passing it to the right, to the left or overhead. Try sitting down and passing the ball using your feet.
Need MORE Simon Says ideas…
The Simon Says download includes 68 body position cards (full page), 13 Simon Says Stop cards and 25 game ideas to use with the Simon Says cards. It also includes all the 81 picture cards in a smaller size (2.5″ by 3.25″ – nine cards to one page). Print the cards or play the Simon Says game using the electronic PDF on a screen or a tablet. This activity encourages body awareness, bilateral coordination, motor planning and following directions.