Purpose of Brain Breaks
Well designed Brain Breaks accomplish three purposes: 1) they refresh students, 2) they refocus students for learning and 3) they re-energise students.
Every teacher has experience the glazed look from students who basically need a break. When kids get tired or bored, they tend to check out. Once kids begin to check out they are no longer learning!
Basic vs super charged brain breaks
A basic “brain-break” is a 2 or 3 minute break away from the topic currently being taught combined with a movement activity.These activities are great to get kids moving and to re-energise the brain.
The best kind of a brain break is a super charged brain break which entails a movement activity linked to an academic concept. Super Charged Brain Breaks have a double punch by reinforcing an academic concept practising a movement concept or skill.
How do brain breaks work?
“Brain Breaks work by getting children moving physically which increases the blood flow by bringing more oxygen to the brain and leads to better concentration. Well developed Brain Breaks can help students stretch, develop flexibility, improve coordination and gain focus for the next lesson,” according to the Action for Healthy Kids Organization.
Physical Activity and Health Benefits
Brain Breaks have another important benefit. They can contribute to the recommended daily amount of 60 minutes of physical activity as recommended by the Federal Department of Health.
“Being physically active is good for kids’ health, and creates opportunities for making new friends and developing physical and social skills.
The guidelines are available in the Make your move – Sit less – Be active for life! brochure (PDF 1194 KB) which provides further information and guidance about physical activity, play, sedentary behaviour (sitting) and ‘screen time’ for children.
One of the key recommendations within the guidelines is to break up long periods of sitting as often as possible. Brain breaks provide the ideal way of doing this during the school day.
The new 2 Go Indoor Games Kit includes everything you need to create and implement energising brain breaks in your classroom. 2 Go Games are highly motivating as kids think they are playing games, making learning literacy and numeracy concepts more fun. 2 Go Games are ideal for classroom stations and the table cards allow for 30 students to participate in each game. Integrated learning occurs through movement activities introducing and enforcing academic concepts in a fun learning environment.
The 2 Go Games set includes Hopscotch, Balance Beam, Bean Bag Toss, Number Grid, Alphabet Grid and Target Game. All 6 Games come with a large game mat, markers, beanbags, storage bag and 30 table cards.
Mats can be used to provide personalised teacher instruction for small groups of students to reinforce both academic skills and motor skills whilst the rest of the class is occupied playing the games on the table mats. Motor skills practice could include hopping, jumping, stepping and throwing bean bags, etc.