Brain break ideas include physical activity, dancing, deep breathing and story starters. The goal of a quality brain break activity is to refocus attention by either energizing or calming the students.
Physical activity stimulates students and gives them a break after sitting for a period of time. While students can't run in the classroom, they can engage in several physical activities in a small space. One option is to have the kids spread out and do simple exercises such as toe touches and jumping jacks. Another option is to call out different tasks, such as touching 10 different desks or skipping to certain points in the classroom.
Dancing is another way to get the students active. Different types of music give variety to dancing as a brain break activity. Upbeat music gets the kids moving, while slow music helps them calm down. Another option is to play a song with a corresponding dance.
Deep breathing is a calming exercise. Use it with visualization to create a calming effect.
Story starters engage students' imaginations while giving them a break from learning. A prop or opening line gets the story going. One student says a line to the story. The next person adds to it. This continues until someone finishes the story.