Kids get tired while learning in school. This could lead to them being cranky or mischievous. Brain break activities for elementary kids give your class a much-needed break during a full school day. These activities may involve physical activity and ultimately boost their energy level. Here is an exhaustive list of my favorite brain break activities for elementary kids to help your students take a much-needed mental break while learning.
1. Ball Toss Game
This is an easy example of fun brain break activities for kids that get them all completely involved. Get them a ball and have them throw it among themselves and into bowls or buckets for points. It’s fun and could go on for hours. Here’s a video on how you could play.
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2. Stretching Exercises
Get the kids to unwind with stretching time. Instruct them to stand and stretch their arms and legs or move their hips in opposite directions. This helps to boost their mental energy and keep them fit. Look at a video of some kids stretching.
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3. Dancing Breaks
Have a brain-break dance party with your little students. Play a favorite tune among the kids and change up the dance moves. Try out the chicken dance, freeze dance, and others for a delightful time. Have a look at some dance routines for popular songs.
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4. Jumping Jacks
Kids need to exercise at regular intervals. Get them moving during breaks. They’ll be happy to get some time to work out some of their excess energy. Do a set of 5 or 10 jumping jacks with them. Look at one of the exercise videos for kids.
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5. Simon Says Game
This game hones the children’s listening skills. How? All the kids have to do is listen to “Simon” and do whatever he says. Get them moving and stun them with creative commands. There are great Simon Says videos online, here’s one.
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6. Copycat Game
In this game, you are increasing the children’s memorization skills. Pair them up or put them in a group and have them copy the lead person’s actions. It is very easy to follow, and you can watch a video here on how it is done.
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7. The Floor is Lava
Work with the kids to set up this game as a fun project. Get the kids to avoid labeled spots on the ground. These spots are imagined as hot lava, so the kids must find other ways to cross over to their destination. You can watch how this game is played.
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8. Hopscotch Game
A great way for the kids to unwind is hopscotch. It is a popular outdoor playground game played amongst kids. It is recommended to give the child a good workout. You can watch some moves here.
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9. Jump Rope Time
You can have the kids do this individually or in groups. To make it even more fun, you can play some songs, which will aid with their memorization and motor skills. It is a fun game adored by kids and you can learn some skipping songs by checking out this video.
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10. Swing Time
This is irresistible to any kid. They simply can’t say no to climbing on a swing. It’s fun and allows for some blood to get pumped into the brain. You cannot go wrong with this great method for a brain break.
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11. Biking Time
You can give your kids a little freedom by letting them ride their bicycles around. It gives them some fresh air and aids in their coordination and vision skills. You can also use skateboards, scooters, or roller skates to substitute for bicycles. Teach them how to ride one here.
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12. Playing Tag
One other way to give the kids a break from sitting around all day is to have them run around trying to avoid getting tagged by the one who is “it”. Recharges their brains and re-energizes their muscles. You can watch this video of some kids playing tag.
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13. Animal Pretend
This is sure to be loved by the kids. Get them to walk like animals and play animal pretend. You can make it even more fun by putting on some music or having them do their animal actions in reverse. Watch how to here.
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14. Thumb Wrestling
This game goes back ages and is still a good choice for kids. Simply pair them up and have them wrestle each other with their thumbs. It’s a sure way to get them excited. You can teach them the rules of the game by using this video.
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15. Push-ups or Sit-ups Workout
Simply partner up the kids and have them count for the other as they do some push-ups or sit-ups. They get to have some fun and build up their muscles as well. Teach them how to have active time for play during breaks.
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16. Pantomime Games
In this fun game, you pick one of the children to act out an activity with just their body language and no words. The rest of the kids then have to guess what the activity is. It requires some brainstorming and gives the kids a few laughs as well.
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17. Rock, Paper, Scissors
Even adults play this fun game. The kids battle it out to find out the true champion of rock, paper, and scissors. It helps increase their thinking abilities and their memorization skills. Learn the rules of the game here.
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18. Mindful Breathing Exercises
The age-old breathing techniques continue to gain traction in educational spaces. They have a lot of great benefits for the kids and double as a very strong SEL for kids of different ages. Watch this video to learn the various breathing techniques your kids can practice.
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19. Yoga Practice
Yoga reduces anxiety and uneasiness while also strengthening the bodies and minds of those who practice it. Work with your kids in different yoga positions using these videos depicting yoga poses they can practice.
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20. Senses Game
In this game, the kids will be exploring all five of their senses by engaging in this neural activity. This combines mindfulness with all five senses of the body, which include touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell. Watch how you can get this game started in this video.
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21. Arts & Crafts
With some coloring pens, crayons, drawing books, and construction paper you can let your kids go on a creative journey. Allow them to express themselves and make a controlled mess. Here are some great arts and crafts ideas for your kids to practice.
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22. Playdough Crafts
No child can resist playdough. Allow their creativity to take over by telling them to create absolutely anything they want. From a star to a castle, anything goes! Here’s a video for reference.
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23. Scavenger Hunt
This exciting game builds up the observational skills of the kids and gives their brains a good workout. You can simply ask the children to search for specific items and give them bonus points for every item identified and named. Watch some good scavenger hunt videos here.
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24. Cup Towers Buildings
Let’s get more hands-on with this activity. All the kids have to do is build a tower from nothing but cups. It’s a way for them to use their imagination and also hone their balancing skills. You can check out how to do it here.
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25. Treasure Hunt
Get the kids moving around and using their brains to solve clues and riddles in this fun game. Provide clues to certain items and have the kids find the location of each item. It’s not that hard to set up and you can use this video here to set it up.
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You cannot mention fun activities without noting karaoke or sing-alongs. Pick a song that everyone loves and have the class sing along together. There are several options of great songs for you to pick online. This is an example of a karaoke session here.
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27. Balance Walk Exercise
I’ve got fond memories of my friends and me prancing around the room with books on our heads and failing every time at this activity. Get your class lively with this tasking activity and watch them enjoy themselves. Place a stack of books on their heads and tell them to walk without the books toppling. Sounds fun right?
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28. Tongue Twisters
The kids can engage in a game of funny tongue twisters to get everyone laughing and relaxed. You can also use this game to test out their articulation skills. Watch some fun tongue twisters in this video.
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29. Joke Telling
You can take a break from a serious class session by telling a few jokes to the children. There are great knock-knock jokes for kids you can find online. Here’s a video with great jokes you can use.
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30. Question Games
There are lots of question games you can play with the kids. For an interesting break, you could play “Would You Rather?”, “This or That?” Or other exciting and interactive quizzes. Here are some examples.
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31. Lemonade Making
In this type of brain break activity for elementary kids, everyone has the chance to refresh as well as have the pleasure of learning a new skill. Making lemonade and setting up a stand for selling it will encourage budding entrepreneurs. Watch how to make lemonade in this video.
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32. Truth or Dare Rounds
Kids can play silly games with their family or classmates. They’re sure to make everyone laugh. A great way to let off classroom stress and socialize with their friends. Here are some examples.
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33. Brain Teasers
Refresh their young minds with teasers that’ll keep them occupied. It is a way to hone their creativity as they try to think up answers to tricky questions. Here is a video showing good brain teasers for kids.
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34. Card Games
Kids enjoy playing and learning new card games. It’s a great choice for an idle brain break. They have the option of picking from a variety of options and if you want to keep things educational, you can throw in some math card games as well. Watch this video on card games for kids.
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35. Atlas Viewing
This excellent example of a brain break activity for elementary school kids is an all-rounder. Not only is it fun, but it boosts memory skills and also teaches them a thing or two about geography. It’s a simple game, and you can learn how it’s played here.
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36. Sensory Bins Time
This activity provides relaxing time and might just be the kind of break the children need in order to regroup and focus afterward. A sensory bin provides for the child’s sensory needs and increases their tactile skills. Watch a video of how it works.
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37. Foosball Game
A quick foosball game is always appealing to kids and adults alike. So, if you’re looking for a good brain break activity, don’t overthink it. Just whip out your foosball table and let everyone enjoy a good time.
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38. Tic Tac Toe Game
This evergreen game has been a kid favorite for a long time, and you can always rely on it to be a fun brain break activity for everyone. It’s easy and quick to play.
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39. Dots and Boxes Game
This is another classic game popular with kids. This easy paper game will get the children’s minds refreshed and relaxed. It’s not that hard to set up, and you can watch how to do so here.
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40. Connect Four Game
Connect Four is just like tic-tac-toe, but rather than linking 3 in a row, they have to connect 4 in a row. If you don’t know how it’s played, watch this video.
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41. Storytelling Time
Make storytime a group activity with this fun idea. Have your students help you make up a story as they use their shared imagination to come up with an exciting tale! Not only will this task get them working together, but it’s also a terrific way to inspire creativity and communication!
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42. Paper Plate Frisbee
You’ve got a classroom full of potential artists and athletes – let’s tap into that! First, they can show off their creative skills by decorating paper plates. Once these have been crafted, they can burn off energy by using them as frisbees! Who said a classroom can’t be a sports ground and art studio all at once
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43. Drawing in the Air
Have your kiddos practice their artistic skills in thin air! Let their fingers be the brushes and the air their canvas whilst their imaginations do the rest. It’s a fun and almost magical way to improve their focus and explore their creativity.
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44. Human Knot Game
Picture this – a tangled web of kids holding hands, laughing, and working together to untangle the knot. The Human Knot Game is more than just fun, it’s literally a hands-on lesson in teamwork and problem-solving!
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45. Chair Aerobics
Exercise doesn’t always require a gym! Show your kiddies how to perform chair aerobics, right from their seats, to combine movement with fun. It’s like a fun mini-workout session that will help them refresh their minds for more learning.
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46. Blindfolded Drawing
Bring some fun into your kids’ day with this hilarious art-based brain break. Give your learners blindfolds before telling them what item or animal to draw. The results are sure to be interesting, and will undoubtedly have your students laughing their way into the next lesson.!
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46. Reading Aloud
There’s no denying that there’s something magical about the spoken word. Have your kiddos pick their favorite book and breathe life into the words on the pages by reading a few paragraphs aloud. It’s like a mini audio book, and they’re the narrators!
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47. Group Juggling
Let your little performers have a go at juggling and watch as your classroom turns into a vibrant and energetic stage. Not only will your students have fun but they’ll also be working on their hand-eye coordination!
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48. Friendship Circle
In a world that needs more kindness, why not start with your classroom? Holding a friendship circle in your class can encourage positivity, unity, and a sense of community among your kiddos.
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49. Magic Tricks
Abracadabra! Show your mini magicians how to perform a magic trick to turn your classroom into a realm of wonder and curiosity. Teaching a simple trick or even encouraging them to perform their own is a super way to get them energized and refocused!
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50. Color Changing Milk Experiment
Who’s ready for a mini-science experiment? Set up to conduct your experiment by gathering some milk and food coloring. Next, get your learners to add dish soap to a dish filled with the aforementioned ingredients and be amazed as the colors change right before their eyes!
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51. Paper Plane Race
Who says physics can’t be fun? Let your kiddos be engineers and pilots for the day as they design and fly paper planes. They’ll have fun discovering the basic principles of aerodynamics and get competitive as they race their creations.
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52. Straw and Pom Pom Races
On your marks, get set, blow! Give your kids straws and pom poms and the laughter is guaranteed with this fun brain break activity. This hilariously entertaining game is also a super creative way to teach them about cause-and-effect relationships.
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53. Paper Snowflakes
Give your classroom a winter makeover with this simple brain break craft! Show your kiddos how to make paper snowflakes with a piece of folded paper and scissors. With this idea, you’re not only introducing them to a fun craft but also enhancing their understanding of patterns and symmetry.
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54. Hula Hoop Contest
Let your students get competitive with a hula hoop contest! This idea is a surefire way to pump up the energy and laughter, all while giving your students a fun, physical workout. What a great way to perk your students up and get them energized for the next lesson!
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55. Guess the Object
It’s time for your kiddos to put on their detective hats and solve the mystery. This guessing game idea is not only a simple brain break, but it’s also a fantastic way to get them to use their thinking and questioning skills. A simple box, an unknown object, and a whole lot of curiosity are all it’ll take for you to get your classroom buzzing with anticipation and curiosity!
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56. Music Instrument Show and Tell
This activity is essentially show and tell with a musical twist! Give the mini maestros in your class the floor and let them show the rest of the class what they can do with their instruments. It’s a fabulous opportunity for your little Mozarts to express their musical talents and for your class to appreciate each other’s unique gifts!
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57. Alphabet Game
Put a fun twist on learning the alphabet with this idea. Start with the letter A and have your learners come up with foods, animals, places, or people that begin with that letter. Challenge them to come up with different categories each time you play and the possibilities of this game become endless!
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58. Shadow Puppets
Let creativity shine when the lights go out with this next idea! Your kiddos’ imaginations will run wild as they bring storytelling to life with just their hands and a flashlight to make shadow puppets and use a classroom wall to create an intriguing tale.
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59. Silent Ball
Shhh…don’t make a sound! Give your students a soft ball and task them with passing the ball to one another in complete silence. They’ll need to communicate with each other and move around as quietly as they can in this riveting game of skill and focus.! This quiet brain break is a brilliant way to regain your pupils’ focus while keeping them calm for the next lesson.
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60. Who Am I?
Who doesn’t love a bit of mystery? Give your kiddies pictures or names of famous characters to stick on their backs and watch them turn into detectives! As they move around the room, you can encourage them to ask questions, think critically, and try to guess their secret identities. What a super way to bring a bit of mystery and excitement into your classroom!
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61. Ribbon Dancing
Start by giving your learners a choice of vibrant colored ribbons and then add music! Encourage them to listen to the music and use their ribbons to dance with them to the beat. As they dance and twirl, they’ll be expressing their creativity, burning some energy, and sharing lots of laughs along the way!
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62. Arm Wrestling Contests
Kickstart some friendly competition in your classroom with an arm wrestling contest. As they compete, teach your kiddos that it’ll take more than just physical strength to beat their opponent, but also strategic thinking. Let the games begin!
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The humble jigsaw puzzle is a fantastically simple brain break tool that can be tailored for use within any class. Watch as your students turn into focused problem solvers- their little minds whirring as they sort and piece together the pieces.
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64. Origami Making
Take your learners on a journey to Japan by teaching them the beautiful art of origami. As you show them how to craft impressive creations, each fold they’ll make is a lesson in concentration, patience, and precision!
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65. Group Doodling
Let your students’ creativity shine with a group doodling project. Set up a large blank canvas for your creative kiddos and watch it come alive with their colorful doodles! As they scribble away, you’re giving them the chance to work together and collaborate on something that they can all be proud of!
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66. Memory Recall Game
Memory is a muscle, and this simple memory game is the perfect exercise. Show your students a tray with a variety of objects for 30 seconds and then cover the tray and see how many they can remember. It’s like a gym for the brain, where your students can flex and train their memory muscles!
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67. Follow the Leader
A classroom classic- Follow the Leader is a perfect way to promote movement, attention, and listening skills. Pick a ‘leader’ and explain to your class that they must watch closely and copy everything their ‘leader’ does. As they watch and mimic the leader’s actions, they’ll be fine-tuning their observational skills in a fun and unusual way!
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