Teaching primary grades is a lot of fun! Students love coming to school and learning new things! The traditional style of sitting in their seats and doing work quietly for 7 hours a day isn’t realistic! They need to get up and moving and get wiggles out!
I don’t know about your students, but mine LOVE to play games and move around. How could you blame them?! It is hard to sit and listen to everything we say. They need to get up and MOVE!
So in this post, I will share with you 5 fun brain breaks I use in the classroom. 2 will be just for fun, and 3 will be with an academic bend to them.
Now, before I get into the nitty-gritty of brain break fun, if you are looking for a brain break mixed with a bit of math, I have a brain break for you sent directly to your inbox! Just a teacher helping out another teacher! Click here to make your math workshop more engaging and fun!
Why Brain Breaks are Important
Brain breaks are exactly what they sound like. They are a break from whatever the kids are focusing on. They reduce stress, anxiety, and frustration. And they can help kids focus and be more productive on tasks they need to complete!
Brain breaks also help kids practice self-regulation. It allows kids to realize when they are getting frustrated or getting off task. When they are able to focus and understand their behaviors and how to self-regulate, kids feel more confident and motivated to move on with their studies.
How Often Should You Take a Brain Break?
This depends on your class and the time of the test graders; it depends on the time of year with my first graders the year. In the beginning of the year, I will block out several times in the morning and in the afternoon. As the year progresses, I have fewer throughout the day, but I still do them. Sometimes (especially around the winter holidays), I have to do more because they are so excited and energetic! 🙂
I recommend observing your class, and if they aren’t focusing or just wiggly, get them up and do a brain break with them!
Brain Break Activities for Students
I use a lot of different brain breaks for the classroom, such as Go Noodle. Still, these 2 YouTube channels are my student’s favorites and there are so many different activities from these two channels that you will have activities for students to do!
YouTube Brain Breaks
Coach Corey Martin
He is one of my favorite and my student’s favorite YouTube Channels. He has over 100 thousand subscribers. He makes fun and engaging brain-break activities for kids. His channel includes everything from exciting chase adventures to freeze dance songs to epic jump battles! He has been in the education system for over 10 years, and as a fun fact, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs at one point!
He has a lot of fun and engaging activities and posts quite frequently (especially around any holiday time). My kids are always up and moving and love when I put him on. Try him with your class!
Cosmic Kids Yoga
This is another favorite of my students, but her stories are a bit longer. I save these for when I have more time. She has over a million subscribers, and her yoga poses are fun! She takes the kids on a story journey with her on any topic. Kids join her in various poses, and they are constantly moving. It also helps them self-regulate and calm themselves down when they get too excited.
Check her out on YouTube!
Academic Brain Breaks
Teachers love to get their students moving, incorporate technology into the classroom, and not lose instructional time.
Math and Movement
This is great when practicing any skill that you are doing in math!
These activities help your students get the wiggles out while practicing & mixing basic math facts. Honestly, my students BEG to do this! I love allowing my students to move and incorporate technology into the classroom yet not lose instructional time.
These are easy google setups and can be used anywhere. I use these as a warm-up for my math lesson or at the end of a lesson for a closing activity. It’s a great way to review standards with students and check their understanding!
My students simply choose the answer from the slide and do the movement that matches the right answer. Quick setup and easy directions make these games perfect as a math warm-up or a brain break. This will work for grades K-2!
Phonics and Movement
This is the same concept as the math movement! This time though, there is a picture on the board and 2 spellings for the picture. Students simply do the movement that matches the correct spelling. This is a great phonics warm-up or review for your students during a lesson!
Boom, Clap, Grab!
This is a fun game that has shown up on my social media feed by so many teachers out there! I love this game, and my students love playing it during our morning meeting or as a warm-up to a lesson.
Students simply get in pairs, and they have 2 cards between them with a skill you are working on, for example, short words. You tell students that when you say “Boom,” they pat their legs, and when you say “clap,” they clap their hands. When you call out a word, they have to be the first to grab the correct card.
For example, I would say, “Boom, clap, clap, boom, clap, boom…dad!” They would have to be the first to grab the correct card.
This is a fun game for students to play as a partner game!
Brain Break Activities for Students
Teaching primary grades is a lot of fun! At this age, students usually love coming to school and learning new things! However, the traditional style of sitting in their seats and doing work quietly in their seats for 7 hours a day isn’t realistic! They need to get up and moving and get those wiggles out!
My favorite YouTube channels are Coach Corey Martin and Cosmic Kids Yoga. Both are perfect for getting those wiggles out!
Sometimes, I don’t have time to use these YouTube channels, and I need something academic. That’s when I pull out my Math Movement, Phonics Movement, and my Boom, Clap, and Grab! Activities. You can even get a free copy of one of my math moment games here!