60 Easy Brain Break Ideas for Kids to Energize & Recharge

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Inside: 60 fun and easy brain breaks for kids. Includes: Energizing brain breaks, mindful brain breaks and just for fun breaks. We’ve also got 90 printable brain break cards (with would you rather questions and tongue twisters)

Attention span and six-year-olds.

These are two things that simply don’t go together.

Anyone who teaches kids, takes care of kids, or has kids, knows all about the tiny attention spans we as parents or teachers need to accommodate.

Trying to keep kids focused can seem like Mission Impossible. Kids can quickly become frustrated when trying SO hard to stay focused longer than their little brains will allow. And this stress can lead to burnout and anxiety in kids.

That’s where brain breaks for kids come to the rescue. Brain breaks are so important for giving kids a much-needed break so that they can come back to the table refreshed and ready to learn.

Enjoy this giant list of 60 brain breaks for kids below!

(These are the perfect brain breaks for kindergarten or any elementary-age kids)

brain breaks for kids
Grab these 90 Brain Breaks for Kids (Includes Would You Rather Questions, Tongues Twisters, Energizing Brain Breaks, Mindful Breaks, and Just for Fun Breaks)

What are brain breaks for kids?

Brain breaks are kinda just what it sounds like—a break for your brain.

When kids are doing tasks that require a lot of focus, it’s helpful to give them a mental break.

You will see parents and teachers using brain breaks during homework or schoolwork.

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, brain breaks are relaxing or stimulating.

brain breaks for kids

How and When to Use Brain Breaks

Brain break activities help kids switch neural activity to a different network.

The idea is to stimulate other brain areas that aren’t being used when kids are learning and focusing. Brain Breaks primarily hone in on mindfulness, physical activity, or sensory activities. Our fun brain breaks also include just for fun, tongue twisters, and would you rather brain break questions.

Research suggests that downtime is needed for every 45 minutes of mental activity. If you use brain breaks with young kids, research suggests a brain break is needed at a time interval of twice their age. So, if your child is six, a brain break is needed every twelve minutes.

Brain breaks are typically short (about two to five minutes) and are preplanned, so kids know they are coming and can look forward to the break and the fun.

Now that we’ve learned a little about using Brain Breaks, let’s look at some fun brain break ideas below.

energizing brain breaks
Mindfulness activities for kids preview set.

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

60 Brain Break Activities For Kids to Try

Calming Brain Break Activities for Kids

1. 54321

Name five things you see, 4 things you feel, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste.

2. Mountain Stand

Stand tall with your arms hanging by your side. Then, slowly raise your arms above your head and reach up, up, up as high you can. Pretend you are reaching for a mountain top. Hold for five seconds, then repeat.

3. Body Scan

Starting with your face, squeeze as tight as you can, and then release. Move down ad squeeze and release your neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen, hands, arms, buttocks, legs, and toes. Finish by squeezing everything at the same time.

4. Cloud watch

Look up to the sky and watch the clouds. Can you make out any shapes or interesting objects? How are the clouds changing and moving over time?

5. Star Breathing

Draw a star and trace it with your index finger while breathing in and out. Or trace an imaginary star in the air or on your desk.

6. Rainbow Draw

Draw and color a rainbow, then slowly trace the lines while breathing. Or trace an imaginary rainbow in the air or on your desk.

7. Silence is golden

Do or say nothing for two minutes. Pro tip: Use a visual timer or play a soothing video of waves and soft music

8. Balancing Act

Balance on one leg as long as you can. When you topple, balance on the other leg. Try making it harder by waving your arms in the air or closing your eyes.

9. Make it rain

Sitting or standing, start by mimicking raindrops on your desk, table or knees—alternate your fingers (pitter, patter). Then, try two fingers and then more until you use your whole hand.

10. Heartbeat

Jog on the spot for one minute, then place your hand over your heart and feel and listen to your heartbeat. Pay attention to the beat. Is it fast or slow? Notice how it changes and begins to slow down in time.

11. 478 breathing

  • Inhale through your nose as you count to four in your head.
  • Then, hold for seven seconds.
  • Make a whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.

12. Mindful sounds

Ring a bell or chime and try to pay attention to the last moment you can hear the sound as it fades into the distance.

Questions for Kids!

If you love these brain-break ideas for kids, then you will fall in LOVE with our giant list of questions for kids. Learn more here.

Just for Fun Brain Breaks

Silly synchronizations

Touch your left ear with your right hand and, at the same time, touch your nose with your left hand. Then switch hands and touch your right ear with your left hand and your nose with your right hand.


Everyone sits; at any point, you can jump up and shout, “pop,” if no one else jumps up, remain standing, but if someone else calls “pop” at the same time as you, everyone sits. Can the entire class pop up?

Night guard at the museum

Choose one student to be the museum guard. Everyone else freezes like a statue of something you would find in a museum. When the guard isn’t looking, you try to move; if the guard catches you, you’re out.

Comedy time

Tell a joke or say a funny word. Make a silly word up like Wormpie soup.

Silent cheers

Let’s stand up and silently cheer. We can use gestures too. How animated can you get?

Blend it up

Pretend you are in a blender (you are a strawberry or a blueberry), and when I flip the switch, you will wiggle and jiggle until you are all blended up. Switch up the speeds.

Animal Pretend

Take turns choosing an animal. Now act like that animal for 30 seconds.

Rub your head

Pat your belly for 30 seconds. Have you ever tried rubbing your head and patting your belly? It’s harder than you think. Go on, give it a try (Guaranteed to improve your concentration and make you smile.)

Color picker

Pick a color, any color you like. Now find as many objects around the room that match this color. Option to do seated or moving around the room.

Row boat

Pretend you are in a rowboat; there’s a storm coming; you need to get to shore and row as fast as possible.

Air Guitar

Get ready to put on the performance of your life. Spend two minutes playing your air guitar to a song playing or think of a song in your head.

Camp fire hands

Pretend you are warming your hands over a crackling campfire. Breathe deeply and rub your hands together for 30 seconds.

Autumn-Themed Gratitude Activities.

Ready for More?

Empower your kids with these 12 Mini Mindfulness Exercises for Kids. Get ’em right to your inbox.

brain break ideas for kids

Energizing Brain Breaks

Stir the pot

Visualize you are standing in front of a huge cauldron full of warm caramel. Slowly stir in a clockwise direction, use your arms and wrists and even get your hips into it. After a few minutes, switch the direction.

Elbow to 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. Repeat five times.

Zombie walk

Pretend you are a zombie and walk like a zombie for one minute.

Run on the spot

Run on the spot for one minute; you can also spin in a circle or spread your arms like wings and pretend to fly (if space allows).

Air speller

Spell out your name or a word or phrase into the air in front of you.

Rocket Ship

Crouch down and get ready for blast-off. Count down from seven, and when you get to zero, push off like a rocket jumping as high as you can with your body straight.

Freeze dance

Everyone dances to some fun music; when the music stops, everyone stays perfectly still until the music restarts. Make it even more fun by trying to make the kids smile. If they smile, they are out and have to sit down.

Tree pose

Balance on one leg as long as you can (try to put the sole of your foot on your inner calf or thigh). After you fall, balance on the other.

Mirror Mirror

In this fun cooperative game, you have to imitate each other’s movements. Assign one person to be the leader and have everyone else follow along!

Stretching sequence

  • Reach up high to the sky
  • Reach down low to the ground
  • Reach out wide to the sides

Hop like a kangaroo

Pretend you are a kangaroo and hop on one foot, then switch feet, then hop on two feet.

Push against a wall

Pushing against a wall is an excellent way to dispel extra energy. Especially negative energy. With both hands, push as hard as you can against the wall for a count of ten.

Pretend band

March on the spot and call out instruments; students pretend to play them.

Act out your day

Students have one minute to act out what they did for the day. No noises aloud.

brain breaks for kindergarten

The brain breaks above were taken from our 90 Printable Brain Break Cards for Kids! You can have them all in a fun printable card format for just a few bucks.

Instructions for using Printable Brain Break cards

  • Print (card stock is recommended).
  • If you want to use the fun backs to your brain break cards, then print double-sided.
  • Cut and use
  • Optional (but amazing): Laminate
  • Most importantly: have fun!

Why Are Brain Breaks Important?

There is only so much information a young child can retain before needing a break. Their tiny batteries die quicker than your apple earbuds!

Research backs the importance of brain breaks. “Countless research supports incorporating brain breaks into teaching. The benefits include better behavior, increased productivity, enhanced comprehension, creative thinking, and increased time on task. They help students pay attention and are as important as the skills being taught.”

Brain breaks are especially important for children with behavioral or sensory needs, but all children can benefit from taking some time to unwind.

Outdoor Brain Breaks

These brain breaks are not included in our brain breaks cards, but there may benefit from having a quick brain break outside. This might not fit into your curriculum or time restrictions, but in case, here are some fun ideas.

  • Nature Scavenger Hunt – How exciting, you can grab our totally free printables right here.
  • Jump rope – Remember the joy of playing jump rope as a child. The fun skipping songs and games.
  • Blow bubbles – I love this one because blowing bubbles is a wonderful way to practice mindfulness.
  • Hop Scotch – Who deson’t love this old classic!
  • Sidewalk Chalk Drawing – I LOVE seeing all the colorful and spring art the kids create.

You Tube Channels for Brain Breaks

Cosmic Kids

Cosmic Kids has a ton of amazing videos for kids. They focus on yoga but have many quick, short, and relaxing brain breaks.

YouTube video

PBS Steve

PBS Steve has a ton of cute songs to get kids singing and dancing.

YouTube video

Move Dance Freeze

I love any brain breaks that get the kids moving!

YouTube video

Jack Hartman

Jack Hartman also has a lot of valuable kids resources for parents and teachers.

YouTube video

Go Noodle

Go Noodle has SO many fun games and brain breaks for kids. Choose any of their fun stuff to get kids moving and smiling.

YouTube video

Sesame street

I love anything on Sesame Street, and this one is no exception. Try this fun exercise; you’ll love it too.

YouTube video

Final Thoughts on Brain Breaks

There are so many fun and creative ideas to help kids focus, recharge, and relax! I’m obsessed with brain breaks, and I think here, with this epic list, you are sure to find some great ideas for your home or classroom.

Don’t forget to snag your 90 printable brain breaks!

brain breaks for kids

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

Resources You’ll Love

Our shop is filled with printable resources to help you calm the chaos and assist your amazing little humans to believe in the amazing little humans they are!

Spring SEL Resources

Now Available on TPT

Splash into spring with these spring-themed social-emotional learning activities

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