Classroom printables, activities & worksheets

Brain Breaks

Do you need new brain breaks for your elementary classroom? Welcome to brain break central at Teach Starter! This collection of teacher-created brain break activities for kindergarten through middle school includes active games to get students up and out of their chairs, would you rather brain breaks, whole class escape games, creativity challenges, and a whole lot more.

What Is a Brain Break?

Not sure what qualifies as a brain break? A brain break is a short mental break incorporated into classroom instruction to provide literally what the name implies — a break for that hard-working brain. Brain breaks can be done in the middle of a lesson or during a transition from one lesson to another, and the goal is to help the brain refocus so students can dive back into learning refreshed and ready to absorb the material. Most brain breaks only last a few minutes. They're a break, after all! Teachers can add as many or as few of these breaks into the school day as necessary. Younger children such as a classroom full of kindergartners may require more brain breaks than older kids in middle or high school.

Why Are Brain Breaks Important?

There is plenty of research on brain breaks for kids, and it all points to the importance of taking short breaks to help students succeed in the classroom. For example, studies show that elementary students often lose focus and become inattentive during lessons that drag on. Something as simple as a brain break in the middle of a lesson, however, gives students the redirection they need to get back on the attention train and absorb the information. Brain breaks are also helpful in reducing student stress and increasing overall productivity, with research showing that students get a boost in their reading comprehension and divergent thinking skills when they get breaks in the school day.

Fun Brain Breaks

Looking for fun brain breaks to get you started with this collection? Our teacher team designed every break in this resource collection to be fun, but here are a few favorites!
  1. Explore brain break activity cards
  2. Play a bingo game
  3. Challenge students to solve mini mysteries
  4. Engage everyone in a whole-class art project
  5. Pull out the pencils for some mindful drawing

32 of 107 teaching resources for those 'aha' moments