3 Simple Brain Break Strategies You Can Use on the Fly

Brain Breaks

Everyone needs brain breaks throughout their day to be at their most efficient and productive. We know from research that brain breaks reduce stress and increase retention of learning. What’s not to like about that?!

Go Noodle Anyone?

Taking brain breaks works with our students and for us as well. What did we ever do before GoNoodle?! But GoNoodle takes time, something that we don’t always have a lot of.

There are those days (ok, a lot of days) we only have a minute or two for a much needed brain break in the midst of a busy day. Sound familiar? Then there are days we simply don’t have an extra second, much less minutes. Here’s how squeeze those brain breaks in on the fly.

Simon Says Lightening Round

Play Simon Says as fast as you can talk without anyone ever “getting out”. Stop briefly when you get kids to mess up and say “Gotcha”. Then, keep going.

Clap Snap Patterns

These first two are best used for waiting times, getting ready to leave the room (students can join in as soon as they are ready) and quick breaks in-between subjects.

Follow the Leader

Each of these has a best use. Some can be used anytime and others can be used in-between subjects, walking in halls or as a rotation. Consider incorporating a pattern and/or crossing the midline into these activities.

  • Bubble Mouth + Fish Fins

    Put a large bubble of air in your mouth an hold it. Breathe out of your nose. Pull your elbows tight into your sides and “swim” forward. It’s impossible to talk in the hallway if you are have a bubble of air in your mouth and are breathing out of your nose. “Pop” or release the bubble when you arrive at your destination.

  • Pat Your Head, Rub Your Tummy

  • Tippy Toe + T-Rex

    Tippy toe for a few steps and then go flat foot and T-Rex arms for a few steps, repeat. Create a pattern for the day or a different one for each time you walk in the hallway.

  • High Low

    Walk tall, walk low. Make a pattern.

  • Window Washer (Wash the imaginary window with big and little strokes. Go high, go low, side to side… Cross the midline as much as you can.)

  • Stork, Blind Stork or Tricky Stork

    Stork- stand on one leg for as long as you can, then switch legs. Blind Stork- Same as Stork with eyes closed, Tricky Stork- Same as Stork but touching one pointer finger to nose, shoulder, elbow, knee. Then, switch hands.

  • Walk the 8 or Balancing Act

    Use painters mask to create an 8 or several) on the floor. Students walk the eight several times, balancing on the tape lines as they go. This is the ultimate crossover for the brain. Variation: Tape lines like balance beams on the floor.

  • Push Pull

    Clasp your hands in front of your chest with elbows straight out to the sides. Keep them clasped as you try to pull them apart and push them together several times.

  • Crossovers (forward and back)

    Tap elbow to opposite knee, back and forth between knees. Tap hand to the opposite foot behind you. Switch back and forth between front and back crossovers.


Want the list? Get a free copy here.




50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.