With kids spending more time online, it is always good to encourage them to take a break from the screen. Brain break activities can help children take a quick break from their routine.
Brain break activities do not have to be complicated. They are simple and short activities that can be done with little resources or preparations.
These activities can make learning at home easier and less stressful.
Activity breaks are effective in keeping children physically and mentally active. It will help them recharge their minds and most importantly take a break from the screens.
Sometimes with exams or revisions coming up, children may also tend to feel more stressed. Having regular brain break activities can help them refocus and be even more productive.
Whatever the reason may be, having regular breaks is important and having a few brain break ideas on hand can be helpful.
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How do brain breaks benefits children at home or in school?
The purpose behind brain break is to take a moment for the mind to rest and the body to recuperate.
By taking regular break children can help children improve on the task they need to complete and have lesser outbursts.
Besides encouraging children to be more physically active they are are also good for their mental health.
It can help in releasing frustrations and reduce stress especially those facing anxiety with online learning or feeling overwhelmed with technology.
Distance learning and brain break :
Your child can use brain break activities at home just the way they would do it in the classroom.
The point is to get children to do several different activities throughout the day that will help in tackling boredom and frustration.
The purpose of brain break activities is that it should be simple and fun but also not to lengthy that your child will be bored of it.
The activity should help your child get back to their work and enhance productivity rather than taking it away from them and becomes a prolonged distraction.
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Rules and duration:
The firs rule is that the activity should not involve screen. The purpose of this is to get children away from their screen.
However, if you think screen works better for your family then do look for some exciting activities online.
For the purpose of this blog, we will be focussing on screen-free activitites.
It is important to set rules with your child to make it effective. Let them know in advance how long the activities will last.
Inform them it won’t be taking too much of their time. It is always good to set expectations from the start.
This will also give them structure that will make learning and playing more fun and exciting.
This is particularly useful for children who do not enjoy online learning as the brain break will act as a motivation to complete their task. For example, rewarding them with brain break activities that they like for finishing their homework.
Shorter blocks of breaks are also more effective. Young children can get bored after 10 minutes of the same activity.
Find the right balance for your child. Aim for short breaks but regular breaks.
For some children they may need 20 minutes of learning followed by 20 minutes of break. But for some a 5 or 10 minutes physical activity is enough for them.
There is no right or wrong duration. Try a different set of time frames and see which works for your child.
Check out, the activities below you can help children grow up to respect their family and love them unconditionally.
Tips on making it fun:
Depending on the age of your child, you can either create a list of things for them or get them to make their own list.
It is always best to give children a set of options. They are more likely to follow through the breaks if they have options to choose from.
For older children if they are making up their set of activities then be clear with each activity how long it will last. Include things like where it can be done and amount of space needed.
Be as detailed as possible so your child won’t use as an excuse to go back to their learning.
Another idea is to create a list together and keep it in a jar. You can have 2 jar, one is for indoor activities and the 2nd jar for outdoor activities.
Your child gets to pick randomly from the jar and complete the activity that comes up.
Indoor brain break activities for children studying at home:
Here are some activities your children can do inside the house. This is particularly useful when the weather is cold or rainy outside.
Encourage your child to get off the chair and do some fun dancing. You can even join your child and have a quick dance together.
If your child is on social media then you can check out some of the new Tik Tok dance challenges and maser that dance together.
Get your child to get some quick cardio or exercise. This can even include doing a set of jumping jacks or plans.
You can use some kid-friendly videos on YouTube to help them out with this. Here are some fun indoor apps you can use with your kids.
If you have a ball in hand then get your child to sit on it for a few minutes. This is a good exercise and is super fun.
These are games that would trick your child’s mind. For example, getting them to pat their head while rubbing on their stomach.
Another one would be to get them to blink one eye while clapping their hands.
This is a fun coordination activity for kids.
As the name suggest the purpose of the game is to get your child to work on their acting skills.
Have a set of scenarios prepared for them. For example, act like a diva, act like a bee flying on flowers, act like you are blowing bubbles and more.
Depending on the space you have in your home this can be an absolute fun when done with some nice tune in the background.
Set a timer for how long your child can spin then make it more competitive by getting them to spin using only some body parts.
It is great if you have a ping-pong table. Otherwise just get a net and some bats and you can use your dining table to play ping pong or any flat surface.
Play a few rounds of it and you will discover how exciting this game can be not just for children but also for adults.
8. Mini golf
Invest in a small putting green or convert your home to a mini-golf area. You can use a cup or boxes as a hole for the golf game.
9.Bounce on the bed
This is something all children love to do regardless of the age. If you have a mini trampoline then you can get them to jump on that. Otherwise even the bed can be fun.
But get your child to clean up the bed after they are done bouncing on it.
10 Simon says
This is a classic game that is a fun brain break activity which involves having good listening skill.
Take a book and try to balance it in your head. This game can be challenging and also fun. Make it trickier by having a few challenges on the path. For example, place some pillows.
13. Draw blindfolded
Give your child an image, possible a commonly known image, for example, butterfly. Then blindfold your child and get them to draw the image.
14.Indoor scavenger hunt
Create a fun indoor scavenger hunt. For example, find something that is red, that is rounded, that makes you feel warm, that you love and more.
Not only this activity will encourage your child to be physically active but it will help them discover things around the house that they love.
Few minutes of yoga can be good for your child. They will get the chance to stretch and get their muscles moving.
You can use the screen for guided yoga for children. For example, Cosmic kids yoga on YouTube is highly popular among children.
Prepare a few coloring sheets and get your child to fill them in. It can be incredibly calming and relaxing
17.Growth mindset activities
Encourage your children to believe in themselves using growth mindset activities.
The activities below can be done at their own pace. It has over 90 pages of activities to keep children motivated and believe that they are as good as their mindset.
Check the Growth Mindset Kit designed to raise confident kids growing up with tech
This is always my favorite with younger children. Check out the post here to learn how to create your moon sand recipe that can be included in their sensory tray.
Encourage your children to create their own homemade playdough. The process is therapeutic and fun even for older children.
The best thing about this recipe is that it uses ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen.
It also takes only 10 minutes to make homemade playdough.
20.Learn to juggle
This can be a new skill they can learn while taking brain braks.
They can use this skill to show off to their friends on Zoom even.
This requires hand and eye coordination.
Yes, you can actually play bowling inside. You will need recycled bottles and a ball.
Create a makeshift bowling lane at home and place the recycled bottles or cans in one of the lane.
This can even be a fun competition at home
This can be a good way for children to reflect on their emotions and express their feelings. You can even using exciting writing prompts into their journal.
Here are some writing prompts that will tap into their imagination
Outdoor brain break activities for children:
If the weather is pleasant outside then going outside for some fresh air can help your kids feel recharged.
However, outdoor activities may take a longer time than indoor activities. Hence, it is suitable to do outdoor brain breaks if your child is not working on a tight schedule. For example, not in between classes.
If your child knows how to cycle then even taking few rounds around the neighbourhood can be refreshing for your child.
24.Short walk or a run
If your child has a dog then bring the dog alone. Encourage your child to complete certain number of steps within a time frame.
25. Outdoor scavenger hunt
Write in a piece of paper the things you want your child to find. They don’t need be so difficult. It could be simple things like rocks, trees, yellow flowers, etc. Get them to look for those outdoors.
You can turn it into a competition by telling them to collect a small piece of those things and who can find it faster. This is suitable for kids who have siblings.
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26. Go to the playground
It is always fun for children to go on the slides and swings. Playing in the playground is the perfect brain break activity for young children. Especially if there are other children they can socialise with at the playground.
27.Draw outdoors using a chalk
Since the start of the pandemic many children have shown support to the NHS by drawing rainbows on their door step.
You can also do the same or even play hopscotch outdoors.
Brain break activities for the classroom :
This is a fun game that should be done with a few children. If your child is alone then this may not be a fun game.
The purpose of the game is to move around the room by imitating different sounds or actions. For example, cat, mouse, old man, or anything else. Then someone shouts the word (Atom four) and everyone must join a group of four.
Anyone who does not join a group will then be out of the game. It is similar to musical chair except instead of chairs they will be doing funny movements or sounds.
This is a fun game that has little physical activity while still encouraging students to have fun. This is a good game if you have limited space.
To play this game you need to have a soft ball and everyone can be seated in a circle.
Everyone should pass the ball in the room without making a single noise or sound.
Whoever drops the ball will be out of the game.
While this sounds like an easy game, it actually is quite challenging. Everyone be reliant on each other’s body language.
You can add a rule, for example, not allowed to pass the ball back to the next person.
Would you rather…
This is a fun game that can be played even with young children. Prepare a list of “would you rather…” questions and have children to answer them.
For example, would you rather swim with a shark or dine with a tiger? You can use the list of would you rather questions we have made here.
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You can make this game more physical but getting students who choose option A to move to one side of the class and option B to the other side of the class. Then get them reconvene in the middle for the next set of question.
This is a classical game that can never go wrong with children. Play a nice tune and get children to dance to the tune.
Once the music stops they must stand like a statue. For older children you can make this more exciting by adding a rule to the game.
For example, they must stand in whatever position they are in while having one leg up.
You get the idea of it. Children have lots of fun playing this game.
31.Mental break activities
This can be a good game for students who are not so interested in a physical break rather needs a calm mental break.
For example, by solving a sudoku puzzle, coloring activities or doodling.
Sometimes children just need some quiet time and these kind of activities can help calm them down while giving them a mental break.
32.The quiet game
This is a fun game to be played with younger children. Get them to lie down quietely and you as the teacher will try to catch anyone making a movement.
The game requires children to be very still and quiet.
For older children, you can make the game more exciting by asking them to line up in orders of their birthday or height. They can use hand gestures to explain their age but cannot make a single sound.
It can be a challenging and fun game while giving them the brain break that they need.
We hope you enjoyed the brain break ideas in this blog. Do share it with your friends and home.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out the PERSONALISED growth-mindset kit you can use at home