Thanks to the recent developments in the science of learning and neurology, your kids do not need to put in long, continuous hours of study to really learn. In fact, what research suggests is that short focused time slots followed with regular intervals, brain breaks, is an effective way for efficient learning.
What Is a Brain Break?
Brain breaks are short intervals between academic, or mental, work designed to increase focus, retention and enjoyment. They work fabulously well to enhance learning and student engagement.
Think of brain breaks as physical breaks or movement-based activities that are aimed at recharging the brain by allowing more blood and oxygen to flow to the brain.
Why Are Brain Breaks Important?
Brain breaks are a smart way to learn. There is only so much information your brain can process at a time before it needs to recharge. Research strongly backs this view and suggests brain breaks after every 45 minutes of mental activity.
For young children, the time before their attention starts to dwindle and they need a brain break can be estimated as roughly twice their chronological age.
Taking regular brain breaks help children not only to learn effectively but also benefits their mental health by reducing stress and homework anxiety.
To help you make the best of brain breaks for kids, we have curated an exhaustive list of these brain boosters, spanning across different categories.
Choose the one that appeals most to your child’s personality:
Outdoor Brain Breaks
1. Play Hopscotch
Hopscotch makes up for perfect outdoor brain break for kids. Play a game or two to get your child moving and blood pumping into their brain.
2. Skip Rope
Skipping is wonderful physical activity that doubles up as a brain break for kids. It is quick, fun and simply great at getting rid of the excess energy.
3. Skate or Bike
Let your child take short rounds around the neighborhood, biking or skating.
Not only does it let your child catch some fresh air but also changes her field of vision.
4. Go on a Swing
Swings are probably one of the best choices for a brain break for kindergarten. No kid ever said no to swings or a slide!
5. Take a Run or Walk
Take a run around the block to get your heart beating and blood pumping! And if you have company, a walk around the neighbourhood park with a quick chat is equally rejuvenating.
6. Play Catches
Yet another fun way to give your child (and you!) a good brain break is to indulge in a short game of catches. To make it more interesting, keep a score or play with two balls.
7. Nature Walk
Nature Walk in gardens or green spaces has a calming effect on mind and is well documented for its positive effects on mental health of young children.
If you have a garden in your house or nearby, make use of it and let your child go for a barefoot stroll in the grass. Bonus points for rolling or animals walking on the grass!
8. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Instead of indulging in a list of things to spy, ask your child to explore the garden and look for bugs or count different flowers!
9. Blow Bubbles
This is such a calming brain break for kids and adults! Simply relax into the moment and blow the biggest bubbles you possibly can.
Indoors Brain Breaks for Kids
10. Make Lemonade
This is such a refreshing brain break that not only rewards your child’s mind but also their tummy. Plus, it is a great way to keep hydrated.
11. Balloon Volleyball
Indoor settings are just perfect for a game of balloon volleyball! All you need for this indoor brain break for kindergarten is a balloon and quick reflexes.
12. Would You Rather Questions
Quiz your kids over some funny (and intense!) Would You Rather Questions for a quick brain break and get them scratching their heads.
We even have a whole section of intriguing Harry Potter Would You Rather Questions for all the potterheads.
Challenge your imagination and balancing skills by building the tallest tower from coins! This super fun brain break for kids also doubles up as a hands-on STEM activity.
14. Animal Yoga
Roll on the yoga mat and let your child practice a few postures from animal yoga. This indoor brain break for kindergarten works wonders with building flexibility and strengthening muscles.
15. Indoor Treasure Hunting
You really need to set up a treasure hunt for this one! Simply give clues to one of your child’s toys and let them get it for you!
16. Hula Hoop
Hula-hoop is an excellent brain break that gets your child moving! From simply moving it around their waists to moving it up and down their body, the possibilities are endless.
Have a singing sensation at home? Try karaoke for a brain break. Simply choose from plenty of options available online. I think we should put some video link here
18. Balance Walk
This is such a fun brain break for kids that targets their coordination and body balancing. Simply ask your child to walk from one room to another while balancing a book (or a stack!) on their heads.
19. Indoor Workout
Try a quick indoor brain break of jumping jacks, burpees, squats and high heels. Let them have sets of at least 20 reps of each exercise before jumping to the next. This physical brain break will surely get their blood pumping!
20. Shadow boxing
A perfect brain break for a high-energy kid, your kid will not be disappointed with shadow boxing. Let them practice their jabs and kicks and try a wide range of movements.
21. Mandala Colouring
Indulge into mandala colouring to experience deep calming and soothing effects. It is simply wonderful at switching your kid’s brain from their homework to their creative side.
Play riddles with your kids to break the monotony and stimulate different parts of the frontal lobe. Not only are riddles excellent brain boosters but also highly entertaining.
Play your child’s favourite song and let them show off their moves! Dancing is amusing way to take a brain break for kids.
24. Tongue Twisters
Tongue twisters are a wonderful break from schoolwork and almost always sure to bring out the lighter, funny side of your kids. Engage in a fun session of funny tongue twisters to test your kiddo’s (and yours!) articulation skills.
Brain Break Games for Kids
25. Carrom Board
Play a quick game of carrom board with half the number of coins and see who can dominate the game with their sharp shots.
Make use of your foosball table by sneaking in a 5-point game between works as a brain break. It is sure to get your kid’s spirits high!
27. Dots & Boxes
Indulge in the classic paper game of dots and boxes with your kids for a refreshing brain break. This easy brain break game is perfect for kindergarten as well!
Play a few rounds of tic-tac-toe for a fun-filled break. It is easy, fun and powers critical thinking for kids.
This is a great brain break game for kids that works on their geography & memory skills. Start the game by naming a place with S (ending letter of ATLAS). Opponents take turns to name another place that starts with the ending letter of place called out before.
This is a fun card game to play with kids and makes for an ideal brain break.
31. Connect 4
Indulge in a round or two of this brain break game for kids that is sure to get them thinking and in the competitive mode.
32. Thumb Fight!
Thumb fights are a favourite with kids and are just the right way to give them a break.
Who doesn’t love a game of UNO? This fun energising game can be played with the entire family and not just kids.
34. Card Games
Card games are always a hit with kids! They are quick and fun that makes them a perfect choice for brain breaks for kids. Choose from a wide array of options available and let the fun begin.
Also check out our Math Card Games to gamify math and practising operatives fun!
35. Dumb Charades
Think dumb charades is just a party game for kids? We bet not! Entertain your kids with a quick session of dumb charades and experience first hand how it works wonders as a brain break.
How about a few games of classic stone-paper-scissor for a brain break? We bet your kids are going to love it!
Calming Brain Breaks for Kids
37. Shake Your Sillies Out
This is a fun way to recharge your flustered child and get them back on track. This fun action song brain break from Learning Station is certain to get your child in a light mood.
Delve into the realms of calmness and peace with these age-old breathing techniques of yoga – Pranayama! They are proven to calm the mind and increase focus.
39. Slime, Playdough & Water beads
For some kids, sensory brain breaks do the trick. Let your child play with the slime, playdough, water beads and other sensorial material to calm them down.
40. Sensory Bins
A quick session with sensory bins can be extremely relaxing for your child with sensory needs and be just the right brain break they crave for. These are great for developing tactile skills.
41. 4-7-8 Breathing
This is a relaxing breathing exercise for your kids that fits in perfectly as a calming brain break for kids.
42. Square Breathing
This is a greatly calming exercise for kids who get worked up and frustrated with their assignments and need to re-center themselves before getting back to work.
Virtual Brain Breaks
GoNoodle is a great choice for virtual brain breaks for kids. The games are intended to make kids move while exploring mindfulness.
44. Quick Draw!
Like the name suggests, it’s a drawing game much like Pictionary but here it’s the AI who has to guess your drawing.
45. Room Recess
Try this fun virtual jigsaw puzzle game to give a much-needed break. Choose the difficulty level and let your mind race!
Experiment with Spirograph and give form to your creativity. Kids who love spirograph will absolutely love this online version.
47. Jack Hartmann Brain Breaks
If music and dance is what gets your child happy and calm, hop onto Jack Hartmann brain breaks playlist. The songs are funny and upbeat, making them an energising brain break for kids.
How To Use Brain Breaks Effectively
1. Explain Brain Break to Your Child
It is essential you discuss how to implement brain breaks with your child. Explain to them that these physical short breaks are intended to increase their focus and help them learn efficiently.
Every child is different and you may need to adjust the frequency and timing of the brain break accordingly. Make sure the breaks are long enough to recharge them but not so long to derail them from their schoolwork.
Design a schedule of homework and brain break that suits your child best. There should be a clear understanding of this alternating pattern and how long it should last.
2. Choose The Right Brain Break
For some kids virtual brain breaks get so engrossing that they shy to return back to work. While for others, a quick online game works best at rebooting their brains.
Depending on your child’s learning style and preferences, choose a brain break that works for them. A good idea is to have a ready list of pre-chosen brain breaks, from each category above, to keep confusion at bay.
3. Keep a Timer Handy
Use a timer or stopwatch to ensure brain break lasts it’s stipulated time and does not under or overshoot. Place it somewhere where your kids can see it and return back to their homework without being nudged.
4. Evaluate & Rejig
For brain breaks to work effectively, it is important to analyze child’s experience with the brain break. Simple questions like:
Did you enjoy your homework better?
Did taking brain breaks make it easier for you to focus?
What kind of brain breaks work best for you?
Would you like to change the frequency or timing of the brain breaks to improve learning?
This introspection will help your kids to structure brain breaks in the best way possible to enhance their learning outcomes. Besides, they will also help take away the stress from schoolwork.
Let your child lead the process and evaluate the best available options. This will cultivate responsibility and a deep sense of control in your child, both of which are highly empowering.
And maybe soon enough, they will come up with their creative and brilliant ideas of brain breaks not just for themselves but for you as well!
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