Kids are intuitive and curious beings with their minds running at a hundred miles a minute. Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming to channelise all that energy towards something useful. For this purpose, it’s a good idea to provide them with some brain breaks to refresh and recharge their minds and get back to what they were doing. In this article, we have some ideas that will help you provide the much-required mental breaks for kids. Let’s begin with understanding what brain breaks are.
What Are Brain Breaks?
A Brain Break, as the name suggests, is a break for kids to get their minds off whatever it is they are doing, and temporarily focus on something to recharge their brains. Kids also tend to lose attention and get restless. Brain breaks help them pay attention, reset their energy levels, become more productive, or simply listen to what you’re trying to tell them.
Benefits of Brain Breaks for Kids
Brain breaks can be very useful, be it in the classroom or at home. Kids can be hyper and have a lot of energy, and brain breaks can come in handy in those situations. Here are some advantages of brain breaks and how they can help:
- The help reset pent up energy.
- Aid in developing social skills.
- Help boost their activity.
- Help make them more inquisitive.
- Help them recharge and channelise their energy into something useful.
How Long Should Brain Breaks Be?
Brain break durations can vary but you have to get the timing right. If it’s too long, kids will get invested in the break and forget about the initial task at hand, and if it is too short, it won’t feel like a break to them. Between 2 and 4 minutes is a good time for a brain break because this will help them revitalise and also distract themselves in case they are causing a ruckus. These brain breaks not only help children but can also be useful for adults. Teachers can also perform better after a small break. These breaks can be taken every 25-30 minutes to gain the most benefits.
Best Brain Break Ideas for Children
It can be tough coming up with activities and games that last a couple of minutes for kids. However, we have a comprehensive list that will help you put together a bunch of games in your database for the next time you are wondering how to rejuvenate the kids. This list includes fun brain breaks for kindergarten, brain breaks for pre-schoolers as well as kids who are slightly older than that.
Indoor Brain Breaks
There might be times when you are indoors and are in need of good brain breaks for kids. Try these the next time your kids need a break.
1. Head Rub and Belly Pat
This game is a classic and has been around for a long time. The instructions are simple, and the game can be executed with multiple children as well. All they have to do is use one hand and rub their belly in a circular motion, and with the other hand, they need to pat their heads.
2. Six Dice Spot
This game can be played with six kids at a time. Make six spots anywhere on the floor and call out six kids. Number each spot, and let each kid chose one spot for themselves. Hand a die to a kid; when he rolls it, the kid standing at the spot of the rolled number goes back to his seat. Continue this game until you have one winner. If you have many kids, you can play this in batches and get the winners to face off in a final round.
3. Balloon Volleyball
This is one of the most fun brain break activities for kids which can be executed with just a balloon. Fill a balloon up and get the kids to stand in a circle. The children need to toss the balloon without letting it touching the ground. To make it challenging, you can add more balloons.
Time the kids for 1.5 to 2 minutes and get them to do a circuit of jumping jacks, squats, and high jumps for 30 seconds each. This will really get their blood flowing.
Get the kids to perform some stretches in the class so as to loosen up their arms and legs, and increase blood flow so that they feel like they are energised.
6. Mini Trampoline
Allow the kids to jump on a trampoline for a few minutes. It will really get their hearts pumping!
7. Dance Party
Play a fun song for the kids and get them to dance for an entire two to three minutes. Kids love dancing, and it will definitely help if you jump in and dance with them.
8. Pretend Animal
Younger kids love animals, and with this game, all you have to do is call out an animal, and the kids have to pretend to be that animal until you call out the next one. Be sure to have a good mixed bag.
9. Simon Says
This is a classic game for a brain break. You can be Simon, and whatever you ask the kids to do, they must do it. Get them to touch their noses, run around the room, jump, etc. to give them a good break.
Get the kids to tap one finger on their table and slowly ask them to add another finger until they’re using their entire hand, and it sounds like a drizzle moving up to a storm.
11. Friend Connect
The kids must find a friend in class and talk for two minutes and find out about the other’s weekend or day.
12. The Would You Rather Game
This is a classic game that you can play with your kids. Just start the question with “would you rather” and enter two options that are kid-friendly. Kids sometimes come up with the quirkiest responses!
Outdoor Brain Breaks
Sometimes, you may find yourself not confined to a room. Outdoors can be tricky because kids love running around. Here are some activities that might help:
1. Relay Race
A quick relay race is a great idea to get children’s hearts and minds pumping. Setup a small circuit, make teams with an equal number of kids and get them to run the circuit. They are bound to enjoy the race get back to their tasks with newfound energy!
2. Cross Walk
Get kids to stand in a line and raise their left hands in the air. They need to then start marching with their right legs, and as they lift their legs, their left hands must touch their right knees. Get each kid to walk a few meters or set up a finish line to have a winner per round.
3. Choreographed Dances
Since kids love to dance, you can get them to stand in a group and dance to famous songs like Macarena, Hakuna Matata, etc. You could use Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes for younger kids.
4. Quick Touch
For this game, you will be the leader of all the kids, and when you name an object, such as a tree, plant, stone, etc., the kids must run and find it and touch it. The ones who the last to find the objects are out of the game, and the ones remaining play until there is one winner.
5. Froggie Leaps
For this game, kids need to squat and place their hands on the ground. When the game begins, they need to jump like frogs all the way to the pre-determined finish line. This game is a great full-body exercise.
Kids always love a quick game of kickball. It involves multiple kids, who kick a ball at each other continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.
7. Bulls and Bears
Make two teams and get them to stand facing each other. One team will be “the bulls”, and the other will be “the bears”. When you call out a team name, the kids in that team must run towards a boundary wall. The kids in the other team must run and try to tag them. Once tagged, the tagged kids join the other team and help take down their erstwhile teammates.
A quick game of dodgeball with the kids is a great break. The ground is divided into two, and each part is for one team. The team that starts uses dodgeballs to take down kids from the opposing team. The last child standing helps their team win.
9. Link Stand
In this game, kids have to pair up and sit on the ground with their backs touching each other. While doing so, they must interlock their arms as well. On the teacher’s command, the kids must try and stand up together using their body strength and their partner’s support. Since their arms are locked, it can be a challenging yet fun game to play with kids!
Tips for Parents
Here are some tips parents can use when choosing and implementing brain breaks for their kids:
- Choose ideas that are interesting, simple, and accessible for the kids.
- Ensure that the break activities are not overly complicated so that the studying does not get off track.
- Allow children to choose from a variety of options, or let them come up with their own ideas.
- Ensure that your child takes a brain break before he gets distracted or tired.
We hope you understand why kids need a break ever so often, and execute the ideas suggested above. These breaks are necessary for kids to get their minds off ongoing or mundane tasks/activities. By scheduling brain breaks, you can see an instant improvement in your child’s focus and productivity. These breaks are also beneficial for adults who find themselves working for long stretches. Make the most of them by adding them to your and your child’s routine.