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Brain Breaks for Kids

Favorite line-up:  Have kids (and even adults!) line up silently, in alphabetic order according to their favorite color, favorite food, favorite game, favorite animal… favorite anything!  The rule is they can’t communicate with spoken or written words, but can use gestures or charades or whatever else helps them figure it out. It’s fun to see the ingenuity kids use to achieve this! At the end, walk down the line and have each kid say their favorite aloud to see if they were successful in getting in the right order.

Sleepy Lions: You can either have kids lay down or stand. They have to remain perfectly still and quiet while one kid (or you) peruse the room, trying to catch any movement as the guard or zookeeper. This one’s good to get kids to wind down after they’ve been active.

Rub your Head, Pat your Belly! An oldie but a goodie! Have you ever tried rubbing your head and patting your belly before? Oddly this is something our brains find difficult to perform at times, usually leading to our hands replicating the same movements. Challenge your kids to concentrate and try out this technique. They will find it amusingly difficult at first, but over time and concentration will eventually be able to pull it off without too much trouble. This is a very quick and easy brain break that is sure to cause a lot of smiles and laughter as well as the eventual desire of increased concentration.

Take a Hike!  Have your kids take a 5 minute walk around some area of your home, yard or neighborhood and ask them to find as many things as they can that fit a certain description… maybe it’s things that are green, things that are smaller than a penny, things that are fuzzy, etc. This is a fantastic way to stop wandering minds and regain focus. Kids will feel energized and re-engaged, ready to finish whatever it was they were supposed to be doing before you initiated the break.

5-4-3-2-1!   In this simple game, kids are encouraged to partake in five different physical activities in descending order. For example, you could get them to do 5 jumping jacks, 4 star jumps, three sit ups, two hops and one hand clap. Mix it up and think of lots of different activities you can do. Encourage activities that can be performed collaboratively as well, to add further benefit to this brain break.

Find it fast!  This is a twist on “Take a Hike” with a little more energy burned!  Look around the room and identify some key characteristics of different objects. They can be colors, materials or anything distinct. Once you’ve got a good idea of what’s available in the vicinity, shout out different ones. For example, “made of metal” or “round and red.”  Your kids must rush to touch any object that fits the description you shout out. Kids like the quick pace on this one!  

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