Brain Breaks

Brain Breaks

Students need time to rest their brains and re-focus throughout the school day.  Brain breaks are designed to get students moving to help get blood and oxygen flowing to the brain which helps kids better remember information that they are learning. These breaks can be 5-10 minutes in length every 30-60 minutes throughout the day. 

  • Work with your colleagues and administration to set a school wide policy around brain breaks (e.g., students must have 5 minutes of activity for every 60 minutes of instruction each day).
  • Create a list of activities at the beginning of the year to have ready when it’s time for a brain break.  Rotate activities out weekly.
  • Incorporate brain breaks in your daily classroom schedule. Track how much time your class spends being active, and challenge other teachers to do the same.
  • Download a set of physical activity cards for movement ideas.  
  • Allow for flexible seating options in the classroom.  Students may learn better if they are seated more comfortably like on the floor, a pillow, on an exercise ball, or at an elevated table.
  • Pick a student to lead brain breaks each day. This idea can also be used as a healthy reward for students.
  • Use physical activity videos to show students how to do activities. 
  • Sample Brain Break ideas include:


Additional Resources

Healthy Out of School Time Physical Activity Guide (SNAP-Ed)

Physical Activity Road Map (Alliance for a Healthier Generation)

3-5 Min Physical Activity Breaks (American Heart Association)