Brain Breaks

Brain Breaks are taken from Energizing Brain Breaks by David Sladkey. These are quick activities which help students get refocused and energized. Each activity will challenge the brain while at the same time getting the body to move. Energizing Brain Breaks can be done at home or in the classroom or while traveling. They can also be used in almost any group setting.
Most of the brain breaks will cross the mid-line of the body meaning that one body part crosses over to the opposite side of the body. This is a way of helping both sides of the brain engage. Nearly all brain breaks will involve some type of movement. It could be just stretching a particular muscle group. Movement of this type gives a student a renewed sense of energy and enhances their ability to focus.

I Bet You Can't Do This

posted Apr 29, 2014, 5:21 AM by Nancy Martin   [ updated Apr 29, 2014, 5:22 AM ]

Put your arms out in front of you with your index finger extended. Try to spin your wrist slowly in one direction and your index finger in the opposite direction.

Roll your neck in one direction while at the same time moving your tongue around the inside of your lips in the other direction.

While spinning your right foot toes in a clockwise direction take your right hand index finger and draw the outline of a 6 in the air.

Finger Tips

posted Feb 7, 2014, 8:38 AM by Nancy Martin

This activity will touch your finger tips to each other.
  • Stand up
  • Make an X with your arms out in front of you. Move your palms to face you with your fingers up in the air. Lock your thumbs together
  • With your index finger on your right hand, try to touch each of the finger tips of your other hand, one by one
  • Now take your middle finger on your right hand and do the same thing and touch the finger tips of your other hand one by one
  • Do the same process for your ring finger and pinkie on your right hand
  • Now do the process for your left hand index, middle, ring and pinkie fingers

Finger Aerobics Ripple

posted Feb 7, 2014, 8:33 AM by Nancy Martin

This activity will move your fingers on both hands in a ripple effect.
  • Stand up
  • Make an X with your arms out in front of you. Move your palms to face you with your fingers up in the air
  • You will be "triggering" two fingers at a time. Triggering is when you pull your fingers like you would pull the trigger of a spray bottle
  • Here is the order that you will be doing this:
    • Right-Index and Left-Pinkie
    • Right-Middle and Left-Ring
    • Right-Ring and Left-Middle
    • Right-Pinkie and Left-Index
  • Now do this same sequence in reverse order
  • Try to do this as fast as possible to make a rippling effect

Finger Aerobics

posted Feb 7, 2014, 8:20 AM by Nancy Martin

"Trigger" your fingers in an alternating pattern
  • Stand up
  • Put your hands out in front of you with your fingers pointing straight up to the ceiling. Your palms should be facing each other
  • You will be "triggering" one finger at a time, alternating between hands. Triggering is when you pull your finger like you would pull the trigger of a spray bottle
  • You will be following a 1 trigger, 1 trigger, 2 trigger pattern over and over again. For example: index right 1 trigger, index left 1 trigger, middle right 2 triggers, middle left 1 trigger, right ring 1 trigger, ring left 2 triggers and so on. Try to do this as fast as possible
  • Once you've mastered this, try to start at your pinkie and work towards your index finger

Figure Eights

posted Feb 7, 2014, 8:15 AM by Nancy Martin

This activity will be taking a piece of paper and making a figure eight pattern around your legs.
  • Find a piece of paper and stand up
  • Grab the paper with your right hand
  • Now pass the paper around your legs in a figure eight pattern. You will have to grab and release the paper each time around a leg. Try to do this as fast as you can.
  • At some point change directions. Try not to look at the paper

Elbow to Knee Tap

posted Feb 7, 2014, 7:24 AM by Nancy Martin

This is a stretching activity where you will be tapping your elbow to your knee in different patterns.
  • Stand up
  • Tap your right elbow to your left knee. Tap your left elbow to your right knee
  • You will be tapping each knee alternately using the pattern: 1, 1, 2. For instance, 1 tap (right elbow to left knee), 1 tap (left elbow to right knee), 2 taps (right elbow to left knee), and then back to 1 tap (left elbow to right knee), 1 tap (right elbow to left knee), 2 taps (left elbow to right knee). Do this as fast as you can.

Elbow to Knee Stretch

posted Feb 7, 2014, 7:20 AM by Nancy Martin

This is a stretching activity where you will touch your elbow to your knee.
  • Stand up
  • Hold your ears with your hands
  • Tap your right elbow to the top of your left knee. Now touch your left elbow to your right knee. That is one repetition. Do five repetitions.
  • Bring your left knee up and have your right elbow tap the top of your knee and then tap the side of the same knee. Now do this same thing with the other knee and elbow. Do five repetitions.

Ear and Nose Switch

posted Feb 7, 2014, 6:51 AM by Nancy Martin

You will be trying to switch your hands from your ear to your nose.
  • Stand up
  • Take your right hand and grab your left ear. Keep your right arm close to your body
  • Now touch your left hand and touch your nose
  • Uncross your arms and move your left hand to your right ear and your right hand to your nose. Your left arm should now be closest to your body
  • Switch back and forth as fast as you can

Different Direction Circles

posted Feb 7, 2014, 6:41 AM by Nancy Martin   [ updated Feb 7, 2014, 6:52 AM ]

You will be moving your hands in different directions.
  • Stand up and put your hands out in front of you
  • Point your index fingers toward each other
  • Move your right index finger in a forward circular direction about the size of a basketball. Keep your left hand still
  • While continuing with your right finger, move your left index finger in a backward circular direction that is bigger than your right side. Your left finger should overlap your right finger.
  • Try to move your fingers so that they start at the same time and finish one circle at the same time.
  • Vary your speeds so that your left finger is slower or faster than your right hand.
  • Try to start with your left finger and overlap your right finger while creating circles with different directions.

Choir Director

posted Feb 7, 2014, 6:18 AM by Nancy Martin   [ updated Feb 7, 2014, 6:52 AM ]

You will be moving your hands in different directions.
  • Stand up
  • Put your hands out in front of you about 12 inches apart with your index fingers pointing straight forward
  • Imagine a large eight between your index fingers. With your right finger trace the outline of the lazy eight. Practice this by making three rotations.
  • Now put both fingers back out at 12 inches apart. You will trace the lazy eight with both fingers at the same time. Start with both fingers going up. This causes you to go in the same direction. Your fingers will cross at the middle of the lazy eight at the same time.
  • Now put both fingers back out at 12 inches apart. Start with your right finger pointing up and your left finger going down. This will make your fingers go in opposite directions.

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