‘Brain breaks’ are important for children (and adults!) of all ages. Regular movement helps our nervous system to remain at an optimal level of arousal which enables us to listen, learn and get along with others.

Depending on your child, they may need differing types, frequency, duration and intensity of ‘brain breaks’ to help regulate their nervous system. Trial and error are key here.

Build-in regular brain breaks as part of your structured remote learning routine. They can be used to help break up larger or more challenging learning tasks, or to support the transition from one activity to another.

Below is a list of FIFTY possible brain break ideas. Within this list, there are a mixture of movement activities, creative activities, food-related activities, relaxation activities and several for our technology lovers. Some are quick and simple, some require equipment- but all are guaranteed to be fun and give your tiny human/s a minute or two to restore.

Most of these brain break ideas have been tried and tested with my young family (3.5 yo and 18month old), so even the littlest members of your household can become involved if you wish.

  1. Yoga- stretch and move. Cosmic Kids yoga is fun! click link
  2. Rub your head, pat your belly- how long can they copy this pattern for?
  3. Playdoh- have everyone create something out of playdoh and each other guess what it is.
  4. Back pictures- draw a picture or letter of the alphabet of someone’s back and see if they can guess what it is.
  5. Colouring or drawing- perfect mindfulness activity or create your own Mr Squiggle game.
  6. Eye spy game or book- stretch those eye muscles!
  7. Get creative with lego. Be inspired by this lego challenge: click link
  8. Scavenger hunt around the house– can you find something beginning of every letter of the alphabet? Or different textures?
  9. Dance it out to your favourite tune- change up the rhythm of the music
  10. Make your own crash matclick link
  11. Create an obstacle course around the house- encourage crawling, jumping and problem-solving
  12. Hide and Seek- fun for all ages, always!
  13. Make an outdoor rainbow- by scavenging different coloured natural materials from outside
  14. Create your own hopscotch course– increase the challenge by adding different actions or having to miss squares.
  15. Crab soccer with a balloon or softball- keep those tummies up high!
  16. Make bubble mountains- using tubes or straws, blow bubbles into a bowl with dishwashing liquid- how high can you make it rise?
  17. Animal walks– how many different animals can you come up with?
  18. Clapping patterns- we all loved these when we were younger!
  19. 5-4-3-2-1 – pick 5 different body actions and create a pattern, starting with 5 of the first action, followed by 4 and so forth
  20. Mirror mirror- with someone else, stand opposite each other and copy each other’s actions.
  21. Cotton wool ball race- move the ball by blowing through a straw only.
  22. Simon Says– another favourite amongst all ages.
  23. Keep it Up- how long can you keep the balloon off the ground? See if you can add in extra rules to increase the challenge.
  24. Musical Statuesclick link – this will get everyone up and moving!
  25. Exercise ball- can you complete a puzzle or draw a picture whilst laying on your tummy over an exercise ball? Recruit an extra pair of hands to keep the ball stable.
  26. Deep breathing- five finger breathing is perfect for a quick brain break. click link
  27. Story Starters– start telling an imaginary story and have your child finish it off.
  28. Alphabet game- choose a category (eg. foods, countries) and try to name something starting with every letter of the alphabet
  29. Board game– did someone say Twister? Jenga? Trouble? Guess Who? All quick and easy options.
  30. Celebrity Heads- or try the ‘Heads Up!’ kids iPad app click link
  31. Snack time rainbow– try to create a rainbow on your plate with snacks from the kitchen
  32. Alphabet Body game– see how many letters of the alphabet you can make with just your body
  33. Playing cards or book stack– can you create a pyramid?
  34. Finger soccer– make a field and goals on your bench or table and a ping pong ball or scrunched up paper.
  35. Tweezers and tongs– have a snack eating with a pair of tongs or tweezers to mix it up!
  36. Minty wrappers – tear the edge around and around and see who can make the longest ‘string’ of wrapper.
  37. Beads– have a race to see how many beads you can pop on a piece of string using a timer. And if you don’t have beads- raw pasta works well.
  38. Oobleck– a quick and easy science experiment using cornflour and water. Quick and easy to make and can be stored and pulled out when needed.
  39. Smoothies– see what yummy creations you can come up with to fuel their bodies.
  40. Read a book/book chapter– or listen to an audible book.
  41. Bowling- make your own bowling pins using empty drink containers.
  42. Super Stretch– another fun way to practice some easy yoga positions click link
  43. Fruit kebabs– chop up some fruit and thread them onto skewers to make a fun and colourful snack.
  44. Shopping game- “I went to the shops and I bought a…” see how many items you can get in a row.
  45. Code writing– create your own secret coded message and codebook and have fun deciphering messages.
  46. Writing/drawing on the windows- if you have access to glass makers this is a fun way to mix it up and get out of your chair.
  47. Object game– using an everyday object, see how many ways you can transform it into something else. A stick can be a golf club, telescope, cricket bat, ruler…
  48. Go Noodle– lots of videos to encourage you to get up and move! click link
  49. 3D Animals on Google– have fun bringing a range of animals to life using augmented reality!
  50. Sensory bin- using items from around the house, such as rice, dried split peas or even raw pasta, create a relaxing sensory bin to fiddle and play with.