Wednesday, February 10, 2021


Take advantage of those extra minutes you have before lunch, while waiting to for an activity, or at the end of the day with one of these brain breaks. They are the perfect solution for when your students look bored or restless during the day.

Hint! Before doing these activities ask children to show you their “body space” by extending their arms slightly and twisting around. Remind them to stay in their body space as you do these activities.

Shake Down
Directions:  Hold up your right hand and shake five times as you count.
     1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Hold up your left hand and shake five times as you count.
     1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Hold up your right foot and shake five times as you count.
     1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Hold up your left foot and shake five times as you count.
     1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Count to four with each arm and leg…then three…two…one.
End by saying, “Oh yeah!” as you extend your arms and make the letter “Y.”
*Adaptations: If children are wound-up do this with a whisper voice.

*Count to five in different languages.

*Do the vowel shake down where you say, “A, E, I, O, U,” and the “E, I, O, U,” and then “I, O, U,” and so forth.

Balancing Brains
Directions: Have children stand. How long can they balance on their right foot? How long can they balance on their left foot?

Adaptations: Have children choose a leg and balance. When they lose their balance they have to sit down. Who can be the last one standing?

Jumping Brains
Directions: Ask children to stand and challenge them to jump in their space as long as they can. When they get tired they can sit back in their seats.

Brains Go Marching
Directions: Children can get an amazing amount of exercise simply by standing and marching in place.


Wiggle Willy
Directions: Release those wiggles with Wiggle Willy.


Couch Potato Pokey
Directions: Children can sit in their chairs as they do this traditional dance.

My Bonnie Bounce
Directions: Bounce out those wiggles as you stand and sit.

Tooty Ta
Directions: How could I leave my favorite silly, wiggle song off this list?

Patty Cake
Directions: Children face a partner and clap their hands together. Next, clap right hand to partner’s right hand. Clap hands together and then clap left hand to partner’s left hand. Continue the pattern.

*Let children play and sing traditional games such as “Miss Mary Mack” or “Say, Say My Playmate.” (You can find lots of these online.)

*Say the letters of the alphabet and make sounds as you patty cake. Cross and say a letter. Cross and make the letter sound.

*Patty cake and count by ones.

*Skip count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s etc. as you patty cake.

*Patty cake spelling words or word wall words. Clap hands and say the word. Spell out the letters as children cross and tap. Hands in the air as they high five and say the word.

*Say nursery rhymes or other poems as you patty cake with a partner.

Run and Walk Workout
Directions: Have children stand and begin walking in place. Explain that when you say “run” they should start running as fast as they can. Challenge them to run for 20 seconds, and then tell them to slow down and walk for 10 seconds. Continue having them run for 20 seconds and walk for 10 seconds.

Brain Freeze
Directions: Have students fine their own space. Explain that when the music starts they can start dancing. As soon as the music stops they must freeze.

Adaptations: Play a game where if they move when they should be frozen they have to sit down and they are out of the game. Who can be the last one standing?

Push the Wall
Directions: Have children put their hands up against the wall and push it as hard as they can. Can they do push-ups against the wall?

Adaptations: Count or say the alphabet as you do push ups.

Hanky Panky
Materials: white handkerchief, scarf, or tissue
Directions: Tell the students when you throw the handkerchief up in the air they can start doing a silly dance and make funny noises. When the hanky hits the ground they must freeze. Do this several times to get rid of wiggles.

*Blow bubbles. Dance like crazy until the bubbles all pop and then freeze.

Musical Chairs
Directions: Explain that when they hear the music they can walk around their chair. When the music stops, they must sit down as fast as they can. As they sit the teacher calls out a number and they must hold up that amount on their fingers.

*Adapt by having them put piece of paper and a pencil in their chair. When the music stops they sit down and write the letter, number, shape, word, etc. that the teacher calls out.

Directions: To BUZZ, have children stoop down together. Very slowly and quietly begin making a buzzing sound. Increase the “buzz” as you rise in the air and extend your arms. Slowly return to the squatting position as you lower the buzz to a whisper. “Buzz” up and down several times.

Cheers and Celebrations
Materials: copy of cheer cards, small box or bag
Directions: Run off the cheer cards and cut them apart. Place them in a small box or bag. When you want to capture children’s attention in a positive way, pull out cheers and do them together.