Brain Breaks


Attention Issues

Examples of Brain Breaks

Estimated Time

1-2 min.

1-2 min.

1-2 min.

1-4 min.

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

5 minutes

15-20 minutes

15-20 minutes

15-20 minutes

15-20 minutes

15-20 minutes

15-20 minutes


Animal Walks





Tactile Fidget

Hot Potato

Rock Paper Scissors

Silent Ball

Head and Tails


Freeze Dance

Simon Says

Movement Songs

Recorded Movement Songs

Animal Pretend

Would you rather?

Find it Fast

Physical Challenge

Jump Skip Counting




Board Game

Pet Time



Walk like a bear, hop like a frog, stand like a flamingo, fly like a bird

Wall push-ups, regular push-ups, yoga ball roll, sit-ups, jumping jacks, running in place, cross crawls (touch hand to opposite knee), rocket ship jumps (bending down, touching toes, and bouncing while counting down from 10, then blast off, snow angels on the floor

Pose like a dog, cat, cow, bug, rock

Put on some rockin’ music and dance! If you can make the room semi-dark and have a black light or other special effect, your kids will love it!

Eat a crunchy snack, chew gum, or other desirable foods.

Scratchy things, sand paper, pop beads, velcro strips, squeeze toys like koosh ball, sticky things, etc.

Toss soft ball or stuffed animal while music plays. No winner, just fun tossing back and forth.

On the count of three, player picks a position:

Rock-hand in fist

Paper-hand flat, palm down

Scissors-extending the first two fingers and holding them apart

Rock crushes scissors, scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock

Toss a ball around, no one makes a sound-enjoy the silence.

Say true and false statements. Hands on head if true and hands on bottom if false.

In this simple game, students stand up and the facilitator has them do five different movements in descending order. For example the facilitator would say: “Do five jumping jacks, spin around four times, hop on one foot three times, walk all the way around the classroom two times, give your neighbor one high-five (pausing in between each task for students to do it).

Similar to Dance Party, except that every so often the music stops, and students must freeze and hold the position they are in until the music begins again.

Oldie, but Goodie

Sing a song with whole-body movements, such as, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” “Toe-Knee Chest-Nut,” “Shake Your Sillies Out (Raffie),” “Grand Old Duke of York,” “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean,” etc

Older students might enjoy a simple Zumba routine, YMCA, or the Macarena. Littler ones will love Sesame Street’s A Very Simple Dance to Do.

Younger children will enjoy pretending to be various animals (or even objects such as lawn mowers or airplanes). Call out a few in sequence.

Ask a “would you rather” question and have students show their choice by moving to one end of the room or the other. Have a few kids share why. Here are 20 free “Would You Rather” Questions to get you started.

Call out a color or other trait (e.g. something round, something made of wood), and students must find an object in the room that fits the trait and get to it quickly.

Challenge students to do something physically difficult, such as standing on one foot with arms extended, or this one: Grab your nose with left hand, and grab your left earlobe with your right hand, and then quickly switch so that your right hand is on your nose and your left hand is grabbing your right earlobe. Yoga poses could also be a good variation.

Have students count by twos, fives, tens etc. while jumping with each count. You could also practice spelling words this way.

Child chooses what they want to read.

Work on a favorite craft or art project

Let child use electronics appropriately

Play a favorite board

Play with family pet

Play instrument or listen to music