PK Activity 3 – Ooops And Yays Simon Says Game


Developing children’s senses of confidence and self-esteem are essential. Your interactions help children feel good about their identities both individually and in relationship to others. Feeling secure in oneself helps children feel it is safe to express an opinion, try something new, make a mistake, and contribute to a team. If children believe in themselves, they will tackle more and more difficult learning challenges in all areas of the curriculum. Confidence helps children develop resilience—the ability to adjust, adapt, create, improvise or innovate— an important attribute to have when learning or collaborating with others. This game celebrates mistakes as well as success and helps children see that both are part of learning!

The traditional preschool game of Simon Says is perfect for helping children feel at ease with making a mistake and developing resilience. In this cooperative version of the game, children don’t have to leave the game if they make a mistake, they just have to shout “Ooops!


Children listen to and discuss lyrics of the Ooops And Yays song and play a fun game that shows we all make mistakes.

Principle Overview

Look around and you will notice friends and family who are really good at some things and not so good at others. While adults might grasp this as something normal, students often don’t and can perceive their own strengths and weaknesses in distorted ways. When we demonstrate our own strengths and weaknesses, we help students come to terms with their own, and help dispel the illusion that any of us are better, worse, more, or less worthy than others.


Goals and Objectives:

  • Recognize that mistakes are part of learning.
  • Develop resilience and persistence.
  • Demonstrate positive behaviors during a challenging learning experience.
  • Preview the song to facilitate discussion.
  • An open space with plenty of room works well with this activity.
  • You might print the following verse on chart paper:
    • Yay! I did it again
    • Yay! Now’s the time, now is when
    • Yay! I can do my best
    • Keep my mind on myself, don’t worry ‘bout the rest.
  • End the activity with a class cheer celebrating everyone’s effort.
Knowing about strengths and weaknesses in ourselves and others helps us grow, learn, and work together. The Me Too! Oh, Wait! Not Me! skill builder helps children gain an understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses and the diversity of those in their class. They also think about how to encourage their peers to use their strengths and keep trying when they struggle with a weakness.

  • Be sure to point out that everyone makes a mistake in this game, but that when you make a mistake, you have another opportunity to try again!
  • Help children notice their emotions and reactions as well as others’ when mistakes are made and support them in taking a lighthearted approach by shouting “Yay!” or” Ooops!”
  • Have children say “Me too!” after someone shouts “Ooops!”
Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

View In Resources

Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Listen to the Ooops And Yays song together. Invite children to sing out the “ooops” and “yays” in the lines of the song.

  • Connector.

    Ask children if they ever make a mistake when they are playing Simon Says. They probably all will answer “Yes!” Explain that you make mistakes in the game, too, and it is all part of the fun.

  • Connector.

    Remind children of this “Yay” verse:

    Yay! I did it again
    Yay! Now’s the time, now is when
    Yay! I can do my best
    Keep my mind on myself, don’t worry ‘bout the rest.


    What is Uncle Jim celebrating when he says “Yay!”?
    What is he saying here about learning?
    Does he worry about what others think?

  • Connector.

    Invite children to stand in an open space in rows in front of the Simon Says leader (you!). Explain that they are going to play the game in the traditional way—“Simon says do this” means you can do what is said, but “Do this” means you can’t.

  • Connector.

    Invite children to shout “Ooops!” when they make a mistake and “Yay!” when they get it right. This is a fun way to celebrate it all.

  • Connector.

    You can play the Ooops And Yays song in the background as you are playing the game. You can even time your movements to the beat of the song.

  • Connector.

    Eventually you can invite children to take turns being the leader.

  • Connector.

    After the game, invite children to talk about how it felt to shout “ooops!” and “yay!” as they played the game. Ask:

    Did it get easier to play the game when you could shout it out?
    Was it more fun?
    Did you feel like you were learning from your mistakes?

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