Did you know that brain breaks are proven to improve student productivity, problem solving, and overall attention? Here are eight brain break ideas to incorporate into your classroom routine when your students need to refocus and reenergize:
Do yoga stretches. Put on some soothing music and lead students through a few stretches and breathing exercises. Shoulder circles, cat and cow, tree, and ragdoll are some simple moves that will get your students revitalized.
Flip water bottles. Keep a few half-full water bottles around for your tween and teen students, who are probably familiar with the bottle-flipping trend that overtook the internet over the last few years. Clear a few desks and line up in rows to have your students try to flip and land water bottles upright.
Go outside. If you have a little more time for a break, take the class outdoors for some vitamin D. Lead them through a few group exercises like jumping jacks or just let them relax and talk.
Bust out the beach ball. Keep a blown-up beach ball on hand and have students toss it around, challenging them to keep it from touching the ground or walls. Better yet, make that three beach balls to keep airborne.
Line up by ____. Get students interacting and moving by giving a criterion and having them line up in order. For example, your students could line up by height, age, or alphabetical order of first or last name.
Play Simon Says. Have everyone stand up and play this classic, and make it fun and active. For example, “Simon says take five big steps across the room on your knees. Simon says try touching your foot to somewhere above your waist.”
Play Human Knot. Divide up into groups of five or six, have everyone put one hand into the circle to grab the hand of someone else, and then do the same with their other hand. The goal: untie the knot without letting go.
Stand up. Short on time? Have everyone stand up. Let your students move around and socialize or start a conversation by asking what TV shows your students are watching or what they’re doing over the weekend.
Sometimes, the best way to engage your students is to give them a quick break. You’ll build camaraderie and boost their brain functions at the same time. Ready, break!