Effective Brain Breaks


Want to start the year off with students that are energized and focused? Adding brain breaks to your daily schedule can be a game changer!

What exactly is a brain break?

A brain break is a short period of time (less than 5 minutes), where students can take a break from instruction to rest, relax, stretch, or get moving.

Believe it or not, these short pauses in learning actually increase learning, while also resetting your student’s attention.

Brain Breaks…

  • Are short
  • Get students moving
  • Bring joy and relaxation
  • Increase focus
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase productivity
  • Teach social skills
  • Increase brain function
  • Improve memory
  • Boost motivation and mood
  • Result in better behavior and attitude

You know what else is awesome about brain breaks? It reminds you to take a break too! These breaks not only re-energize your student’s minds, but yours as well!

Brain breaks are sounding like a no-brainer right?! Check out this list of 20 easy brain breaks to use in your classroom this year.

20 Easy brain breaks to use in your classroom:


1.      Put on some music and do a freeze dance

2.      Check out Gonoodle.com for some music and movement

3.      Jump on a pretend trampoline

4.      Pretend you’re at a stadium and do the wave

5.      Practice some facial tricks

Wiggle your eyebrows as fast as you can, raise one eyebrow at a time, etc.

6.      Set a timer for 5 minutes and give everyone a chance to doodle some art.

7.      Do push ups

8.      Do sit ups

9.      Try some new yoga poses

10.    Skip in a circle around the room

11.     Jog in place while counting to 100

12.     Do some acting.

Ask your students to act like they are driving a car, or blowing bubbles, or that a bee is flying around them, or like they just met their favorite singer!

13.     Play Simon Says

14.     Do a partner Rock, Scissors, Paper break

15.     Pass a balloon and keep it from touching the ground

16.     Get students moving with a game of switching seats.

Call different directions and have students move if they are a match. For example the teacher can say; “switch seats if you are wearing green”, “switch seats with the person on your left”, or “switch seats if you have a pet fish”.

17.     Make a rainstorm.

Have students tap one finger on their desk, then 2, then 3, and so on until all 10 fingers are tapping and it sounds like a real rain storm. Then count back down to 0 and the storm noise goes away.

18.     Animal role play.

Have students act like different animals, let them move like the animal and make the appropriate noises too.

19.     Play ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.’

20.     Play a game of ‘Find it fast’.

To play this one the teacher will call out a trait of an object in the classroom (i.e.: something green, something square, something really long) and students must find an object in the room that matches the clue and run to it as quickly as possible.

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