Use this calendar as an easy and fun way to incorporate movement and brain breaks into your class! Below are the instructions to each brain break idea.

Animal Movements

It’s time to get silly! Call out an animal and have your students mimic its movement. For example, if you call out “frog,” your students would hop on all fours like a frog. To make this more educational, have your students mimic the animal and shout out a fun fact about the animal.

Yoga

Yoga and mindfulness can help students to focus on the here and now (not what happened in specials 25 minutes ago or what we are having for lunch in an hour). It can also help them to be aware of their own body. What are they feeling in the moment? Are they tired? Jittery? Alert? How are they feeling? Happy? Rejected? Like a failure?

Try these 5 yoga poses with your class:

Cat and Cow Pose

Moving Minds Daily Brain Breaks Weeks 1
  • Begin on hands and knees
    • Hands beneath shoulders and knees beneath hips
    • Back flat, eyes looking at floor
  • Inhale and arch spine upward, tuck tailbone, bend neck, and look underneath body (Cat)
  • Hold for 3-4 breaths
  • Exhale, arch back downward, tailbone up in the air, head up (Cow)
  • Hold for 3-4 breaths

Upward Dog Pose

  • Lie face down
    • Elbows bent, close to the body
    • Hands alongside chest
  • Inhale and push through hands, lift body
    • Chest and hips raised
    • Look straight ahead
    • Knees, shins, and toes on floor
  • Hold for 3-4 breaths
  • Exhale, slowly lower body

Chair Pose

  • Stand, feet hip-width apart, toes forward
  • Inhale, slowly bend knees
  • Sit back into chair position, thighs parallel to floor
  • Raise arms in front of body
    • Palms facing each other
    • Weight in heels
  • Hold for 2-3 breaths
  • Exhale, rise to standing position

Neck Stretch

daily brain breaks - week 2
  • Sit cross-legged or on heels with back straight
  • Inhale and slowly lower right ear to right shoulder
  • Exhale and return to center
  • Inhale and slowly lower left ear to left shoulder
  • Exhale and return to center
  • Inhale and lower chin to chest
  • Exhale and return to center
  • Repeat for 6-8 breaths

Sun Salutation

daily brain breaks - week 2
  • Stand tall, arms by sides
  • Inhale, open arms and bring together overhead
  • Reach overhead and back
  • Hold for 3-4 breaths
  • Exhale
  • Bend at waist, reach hands toward floor
  • Relax head between arms
  • Hold for 3-4 breaths
  • Repeat

This or That

Read off a variety of options and have your students identify if they prefer “this” or “that” by moving to one side of the room for “this” and to the other side of the room for “that.” Options include, but are not limited to math/reading, recess/lunch, music/art, fruits/vegetables, sing/listen, and sweet/sour.

Phrases

Using phrases such as “floor is lava” and “Andy is coming” is a fun way to get active throughout the day. When using the phrase “floor is lava,” your students must (safely) get on a piece of furniture or object so they are no longer touching the floor. When using the phrase “Andy is coming” your students must lay on the floor like a toy.

Go Outside

Nature reduces children’s stress while promoting their interest, engagement, social connection, and creativity. Ming Kuo, PhD, also shows that nature improves their attention span, self-discipline, and—unsurprisingly—physical fitness. With that being said, take a break out of your day to go on a walk and enjoy the outdoors.

Reading Time

Take a few minutes to get some leisurely reading in. Choose your favorite spot in the classroom like on a cushion or active seat and get lost in another world. Make sure to set a timer!

Draw or Color

Get your students’ creative juices flowing with drawing and coloring. There are many free templates you can find online to print off – from adult to children’s templates.

Dance Party

Simply playing music and dancing around the classroom can help regain focus. Play some favorite tunes for a few minutes to get some jitters out, then when the music stops it’s time to get back to work!

Movement Stations

Make signs designating 3 movement stations. You can do all the stations throughout the day, or do one station per day!

Here’s an example of what your movements stations could look like:

1 – Hold a wall sit for as long as you can.

2 – Hold a plank position for as long as you can.

3 – Do 20 jumping jacks.

Sports Movements

Instruct your students to mimic various sports movements for 15 seconds. Serve tennis balls, bump volleyballs, block a jump shot, catch footballs… the possibilities are endless!

Alphabet Hide & Seek

Write each letter of the alphabet on individual sticky notes and place them on the floor in a specified room or area. Then, have your students run to each letter. There are many variations you can do this:

  • Run in ABC
  • Give the sound of the letter
  • Give a word that starts with that letter
  • Call out a letter you want them to run to

If the weather permits, you can easily do this outside with some chalk! Another variation of this activity would be to give your students a piece of chalk and write a word next to the letter they run to.

Movement Maze

Create a movement maze using 2 simple tools:

  • Tape
  • Scissors

Name Game

Walk around the house and find 10 things that start with the first letter of your name. If the weather permits, this is an easy one to implement outside! Bring a notepad with to write them down. Then, if you do this activity again try to find 10 new things that start with the first letter of your name!

True or False Statements

Say a statement related to a current lesson. If the statement is true, have your students stand up and touch their toes. If the statement is false, they would skip in place.

Hopscotch

Create an indoor hopscotch pattern with tape or numbered sticky notes. You could even turn this into a craft time project by painting numbers onto cardboard pieces. If the weather permits, head out to the driveway or sidewalk with some chalk and create a hopscotch pattern there.

Fitness Hide and Seek

Hide an object (toy or household) around the class or specific room. Then, in the same area hide sticky notes with fitness ideas (3 push-ups, 5 jumping jacks) written on them. Have your students try to find the object in a set amount of time. If they find a sticky note before they find the object, they have to do the fitness idea written on it.