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Brain Breaks

Visit the Northeast metro Calming Space site for videos and ideas for calming brain breaks.
                               

What are brain breaks?
Brain breaks are planned learning activity shifts that mobilize different networks of the brain. These shifts allow those regions that are blocked by stress or high-intensity work to revitalize. 
 
Why should kids take brain breaks?
By switching activity to different brain networks, brain breaks allow the resting pathways to restore their calm focus and foster optimal mood, attention, and memory.

Brain breaks can also: 

 
When do you take brain breaks?
Brain breaks should take place before fatigue, boredom, distraction, and inattention set in. Depending on students’ ages and focus development, brain break frequency will vary. As a general rule, concentrated study of 10 to 15 minutes for elementary school and 20 to 30 minutes for middle and high school students calls for a three- to five-minute break.

What are strategies for getting the most out of brain breaks?
Brain breaks do not require disruption in the flow of learning. Simply stretching, moving to a different part of the room, or singing a song can revitalize the brain. Use your learning goals and students’ responses to guide you in selecting the best type of brain break. You might decide to use the time to boost mood or motivation, as well as restore the brain’s peak performance.
 
Tips for using Brain Breaks at Home:
  • With your child, use this print out to create a brain break bingo card or draw your own. 

Kindergarten through 2nd Grade Break Ideas

Movement Ideas (Recess)

Quiet Time Ideas

Creative Time Ideas

Play outside or get out in nature Read or listen to an audiobook or listen to ‘local celebrities’ read to you in Community Education’s ‘Wild About Reading’ Virtual Library! Create paper dolls and houses out of paper or cardboard
Online exercise or dance videos at GoNoodle or Sport Supermovers Draw a picture and hang it in your window for a neighbor to see Create a spaceship out of a cardboard box
Have a virtual dance party with a friend Draw using a daily Lunch Doodle Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt: write each letter of the alphabet on a sheet of paper and search for items that begin with each letter.
Play hide and seek Cosmic Kids Storytelling yoga videos Draw pictures and create an art show for your family
Create a fun obstacle course using items around your home (pillows, laundry baskets, stuffed animals, plastic cups, blankets, chairs, etc.) Listen to one of these podcasts: Wow in the World, Brains On!, Big Life Journal, Story Story Podcast, But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids, Tumble Kids or Earth Rangers Make paper flowers or snowflakes
Play hopscotch Play Legos or do the 30 Days of Lego Play Use socks as puppets and create a puppet show
Create a jump rope by tying together plastic bags Read and book then do the 30 Day Reading Challenge Create an indoor “camp out” using chairs and blankets. Then read a book or draw in your “tent”.
Play basketball using laundry baskets for hoops and balls our of rolled-up socks Do a shared virtual reading, drawing or activity with a family member or friend using https://caribu.com/ Play store or library using items from around your home
Play balloon toss Design a board game using paper & crayon/markers Build a city or tower with blocks or plastic cups
Play Simon Says Write a letter to a friend or Journal to yourself Play superheroes
Use chalk to write positive messages or draw pictures to brighten someone's day Call a friend or family member Make your own musical instruments using things from your home (pots, pans, boxes)
  Create an “All about me” board Play with toys or figurines

Try out videos to refocus and calm your brain. What is Tapping for kids or Tapping to relieve worry. Draw a map of your home

  Explore Art for Kids Hub an online drawing tutorial

3rd to 5th Grade Brain Break Ideas

 

Movement Ideas (Recess)

Quiet Time Ideas

Creative Time Ideas

Play outside or get out in nature Read or listen to an audiobook or listen to ‘local celebrities’ read to you in Community Education’s ‘Wild About Reading’ Virtual Library! Make paper airplanes and see which one can fly the farthest!
Online exercise or dance videos at GoNoodle or Sport Supermovers Draw a picture and hang it in your window for a neighbor to see Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt: write each letter of the alphabet on a sheet of paper and search for items that begin with each letter.
Have a virtual dance party with a friend Draw using a daily Lunch Doodle Draw pictures and create an art show for your family
Create a fun obstacle course using items around your home (pillows, laundry baskets, stuffed animals, plastic cups, blankets, chairs, etc.) Cosmic Kids Storytelling yoga videos Make paper flowers or snowflakes
Play hopscotch Listen to a podcast at Wow in the World, Brains On!, Big Life Journal, Story Story Podcast, But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids, Tumble Kids or Earth Rangers Use socks as puppets and create a puppet show
Create a jump rope by tying together plastic bags Play Legos or do the 30 Days of Lego Play Create an indoor “camp out” using chairs and blankets. Then read a book or draw in your “tent”.
Play basketball using laundry baskets for hoops and balls our of rolled-up socks Read a book than do the 30 Day Reading Challenge Play store or library using items from around your home
Play Simon Says Do a shared virtual reading, drawing or activity with a family member or friend using https://caribu.com/ Design and build a city or tower with plastic cups or other household items
Use chalk to write positive messages, quotes, poems or draw pictures to brighten someone's day Design a board game using paper & crayon/markers Make your own musical instruments using things from your home (pots, pans, boxes)
  Write a letter to a friend or Journal to yourself Create shadow art using paper, the sun and figurines
  Call a friend or family member Write and illustrate a book or graphic novel
  Create an “All about me” board Play with toys or figurines

Try out videos to refocus and calm your brain. What is Tapping for kids or Tapping to relieve worry. Create and use a secret code or language
    Explore Art for Kids Hub an online drawing tutorial