Do as you’re told!
It seems odd, as a grown up, someone tells to you to do something that you would do it, without question.
Such is the innocence of children. They like to please.
As a parent you may be thinking… eh?! My child never does what I ask them. Well, yes, unfortunately for us parents that’s where a human child likes to test boundaries.
As new borns we copy to learn. Then we start to form ideas and mix things up a bit. However, young children like to revert, and can see the fun in copying when played as a game.
Copying is one of the simplest games you can play with children. Simon Says is an old favourite in party games. It’s also a good way of passing time with a child while in a waiting room or at a bus stop. You can use language as an alternative to actions, it can help build a child’s vocabulary, or you can have fun with a simple tongue twister, such as ‘Red lorry, Yellow lorry’. Combine both an action and a tongue twister together and you get this – try saying ‘I like to sail on a pirate ship’, whilst holding your tongue. That will always raise an eyebrow or two in a waiting room, and especially if you’re at work right now.
The simplest version of the game Simon Says is this:
One person is the caller. At the start of a sentence they can either say “Simon Says…” and add an action, or they say only the action i.e. “Hands on head” rather than “Simon Says hands on heads.”
If the player moves on the action without the “Simon Says ….” they’re out of the game. Nice and simple.
A more involved version of this game is “Captain’s Coming” which I have written a piece on before in our Musical Statues post. It’s generally faster and with larger actions, we use sound effects too.
Our party games are like an extended version of Simon Says in a story context. The story would be describing what is being played out. i.e, “…and you’re battling through this terrific sand storm…”
As a little girls, my friend and I often reenacted the whole of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ played from a scratchy gramophone record. Even though we had little clue what was going on in the story, we played it over and over, we just loved the music so much!
So with our party games we add lots of appropriate sound effects and music to take a child right into the scene. You may be surprised to find children respond incredibly well to our instruction, but think on this, if I said to you: “curl up your toes inside your shoes” at least half of you will have done it…
the other half wouldn’t be wearing shoes. 😉
Tsk, and Simon wasn’t even around.