Look no further for our favorite brain break ideas for middle school students! There are so many benefits of brain breaks, including decreasing stress, re-focus your class, teaching small skills, and overall just helping kids with efficiency at school.
Help your students get ready to learn with these 25 effective brain breaks!
1. Physical Activity Cube
An easy way to get kids moving is to use an activity cube. Simply get a foam die or make one from paper and write down different physical moves or even dance moves. Roll the die a number of times to get kids moving!
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2. Four Corners - Minecraft
Students earn points and do exercise challenges. They will choose one of the 4 corners and if they find Steve earns points, then each corner has a different physical break activity before making move to the next corner. The challenges get more difficult throughout the break.
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4. Stomp, Clap, Snap
5. Sign Language Break
Learning the alphabet in sign language is a fun brain break for students, but also teaches them an awesome skill to have! It is also easy to do because teachers can keep students seated, while still engaging and getting a break.
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6. Brain Teasers
These fun brain teasers can be used one at a time. Just project them onto the board and have students try to solve them! Awesome for a break and using some critical thinking skills!
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8. Pen Flipping
Take a break and get those energy levels going and refocused with pen flipping. Middle schoolers always love to challenge their peers. See who can flip the taped pen in one revolution...then try with the other hand...then both!
Learn More: Brain Breaks
9. Thumb Wars
We all know this old-school game - Thumb Wars or Wrestling! Have students walk around the room and have them play with a partner. The loser becomes part of the other students cheering section as they make their way around the room playing with the other winners!
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10. Yoga Poses
11. Knee Tag
Play this energetic partner activity and no-prep game with kids! You play in partners and earn a point every time you tag your partner's knees. It includes step-by-step directions and a video tutorial.
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13. Coloring Craze Bulletin Board
Create this mandala coloring page that is poster size! Leave some markers or other colors available and give your students a break by letting them color. It is easy to do as a silent break and great during quizzes or tests when students may need breaks at different times.
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14. Brain Break Dance Party
16. Brain Break Spinner
A really quick brain break activity, use this digital spinner! This example has different physical activities on it, but you can use the word wall site to modify it and make your own with class favorites.
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17. Brain Teaser Puzzles
18. Inspiral Activity
19. Fidget Bin
Sometimes there isn't a ton of time for an extended brain break that kids may need. Provide a fidget bin which students can borrow objects from. They are quiet and can easily use them while they need an independent break and through working.
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20. Heads Up!
Sudoku can be used for educational brain breaks to work on focus, thinking skills, and endurance. This classic game can be made at varying levels or even with images so it works for all grade levels!
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22. Video Brain Teaser
TED-Ed has 3 different logic thinking teaser videos where students must collaborate. The videos play for 1.5 to 2 minutes, then give them a chance to solve. Play the end of the video for the solution. They are an engaging game for middle-grade students!
Learn More: TED-Ed
24. Spot the Difference
25. Folding Foxes
Using origami for a brain break is a great way to teach students to follow directions and get a chance to relax. This site provides an activity for making paper foxes, but you can easily use any simple origami video.
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