A brain dump is a way of getting all the information out of our heads by writing it down. Organizing and/or prioritizing certain things can be done in a more effective manner after a brain dump has taken place. Life is busy and our kiddos often have to juggle many things at once. Teach them to prepare for, and manage, their day-to-day in the best way possible by utilizing these brilliant brain dump activities!
1. Morning Brain Dump
By laminating this morning’s brain dump sheet your learners can tack it to their wall and use a dry-erase marker to write on it each day! Writing their action plan for the day, and carefully considering if something is a ‘must’, a ‘should’, a ‘could’, or a ‘want to’ activity will get them to focus on the things that matter.
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2. Topic Brain Dump
This activity is great for introducing a new topic. Split your students into two groups and have them stand in lines. Give them their topic (e.g. classifying plants). Set a timer for five minutes and have each child run to the board and write down one word, or fact, about the topic.
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3. Close Your Eyes
Learning to braindump is a great way to teach kids to express themselves on paper. This activity asks children to close their eyes for 30 seconds and then write or draw the thoughts or feelings that come to mind.
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4. Brain Dump List
This list covers the six things that are important to de-clutter from your mind: procrastination, fear, anger, discouragement, incomplete goals, and sorrow. Explain each of these points to your kids and have them fill in each circle. Explain to them that we often feel better if we take a moment to process all that’s going on in our heads.
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5. Make a Bucket List
Making a Summer bucket list is a great activity to do with your kids! This worksheet breaks it down into sections for you by providing blocks for; crafts to make, recipes, and places to visit. Getting little ones to brain-dump their ideas for the Summer gives you plenty of opportunities to lean on whenever they grow bored.
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6. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a top brain dump technique! Spending time together, laughing, and sharing memories can be great fun for both you and your kids. They can spend time decorating their journals and use them whenever they need to declutter their mind.
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7. Create a To-Do List
This colorful to-do list can be laminated and, when a whiteboard marker is used, can be wiped clean and re-used. To-do lists help learners rid themselves of mental clutter and can be a great resource for forgetful little learners!
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8. Fridge Dump
By simply sticking a whiteboard onto the front of your fridge, you can create a brain-dump command center that everyone can add to throughout the day. This is great for clearly communicating the needs, tasks, and upcoming events of all family members.
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9. Tornado Brain
The book, Tornado Brain teaches kiddos an important message of resilience. Activities include a worksheet that asks students what is special about their brain and what they love most and least about how their brain works. By putting their thoughts down on paper, some trickier concepts become easier for kids to work through.
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10. Brain Dump Bullet Journal
Brain dumping gives us a chance to de-clutter our thoughts and get back to what’s important. Encourage your students to keep a bullet journal and fill it in at the end of the day. What did they manage to tick off today? Be sure to encourage them to set new goals for the next day as well.
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11. Gratitude Brain Dump
We can often become bogged down with worries and not focus on what we’re grateful for. Kids should be encouraged to write down three things they’re grateful for at the end of every day. These could be small things such as someone offering them a piece of gum, the sun that shone, or a smile and thank you from a friend.
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12. Doodle Dump
Kids love to doodle! By simply providing different colored pens and pieces of paper, kids will have lots of fun doodling their thoughts down onto paper; dumping all their mental clutter in the process!
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13. Test Strategy
Brain dumping is a valuable tool to use when working on a test paper. Writing down everything you know about the question is a great way to clear your head and get all your thoughts down in one place.
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14. Memory Brainstorm
Discuss memories that evoke emotions, such as: running a mile, riding a rollercoaster for the first time, or the first day of school. Brainstorm possible emotions that match. For example, some will have found the rollercoaster ‘terrifying’ and others will have found it ‘thrilling’! Afterward, get your students to write two contrasting pieces of writing. First, they must describe riding a rollercoaster and find it thrilling. Secondly, they’ll write from the perspective of being terrified!
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15. If I Had a Candy Factory
This is a fantastic sheet for little ones to brain-dump their ideal candy factory. They are asked what their candy factory would look like, what candy they would make, and who would work in their factory!
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16. Book Studies
Provide each student with a sheet of colored A3 paper. Have them use strips of paper to decorate their sheet with drawings, doodles, and writing about recent classroom literature. This is a great way for students to brainstorm all they learned about the book.
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17. Set a Goal
Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews found that by simply writing down your goals, you’re 42% more likely to achieve them. Encourage your class to make regular goals every semester and brain-dump these on a big sheet of paper.
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18. What I Learned About Math
At the end of your math lesson write “what I learned about math” on the board. Have students partner up and write down what they learned that day. Add their ideas to your board, and try to color code it so it’s easy to follow!
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19. Book Review
A book review is a great opportunity to dump all important information in one place. If your class has just finished a story, ask them to design a book review in the style of a poster. Let them brain-dump all of their thoughts and ideas about the text in their book review.
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20. Flashcard Practice
Hand out three post-it notes to each student. Have them write a question on each post-it, and on the other side, have them brainstorm some possible answers or any pieces of vocabulary that might help them.
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