Kindergarten is such a fun age. As each school year progresses, the pure desire to learn and the love that is exerted from these children can make anyone who witnesses this happens heart burst. However, anybody who has been any kindergarten class with several students in it knows one thing: these children are not made to sit still for long. Not even considering all of the data that we have discussed in our Ultimate Guide to Brain Break Activities series about children today not being physically able to sit still for long periods of time due to their muscular makeup, small children legitimately do not have the attention span due to their developmental stage in life to be able to focus for long periods of time. Brain breaks are absolutely essential during transitions and multiple other times throughout the school day. Developing and executing fun brain breaks for kindergarten is really easy to do with given the students’ age and excitement level.
We know that our students need at least 60 minutes of activity per day. Our littlest students are certainly no exception. Not only are brain breaks totally necessary for them to be able to focus and perform at their best levels, but fun brain breaks for kindergarten will be completely bought into by the students themselves. That is probably the nicest part about teaching little ones. They buy into the silliness right away. Teaching even our youngest grades is not what it was in the not-so-distant past. Whereas kindergarten used to be much more of a socialization aspect of education, now there is increased academic rigor, testing, and other such factors that don’t allow the kids just to be kids. By incorporating these brain breaks, we are giving them the opportunities to legitimately act their age and start learning how to handle what their bodies need when it comes to movement and productivity.
In this day and age where screen time is so high, it is important that we are in fact teaching them fun games, dances, etc. that they will enjoy doing. They are certainly ways to incorporate both of them, with programs such as GoNoodle or brain breaks on YouTube. but incorporating these fun brain breaks for kindergarten will allow them to receive the physical activity that their bodies require and make it so the academic requirements are still being met.
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Some people have this antiquated vision that by having the students move around, it will make their levels of focus even less and it will be harder to bring them back into focus after the activity. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially with younger students, it is important to give them the opportunities to move, wiggle, and do anything else that they need to in order to allow their brains to focus. Physical movement and brain focus work hand-in-hand and we certainly need to help guide our youngest students with how to do this both effectively and appropriately. If you see your students starting to fidget, it means they need a break. It doesn’t mean that they need to learn to sit still or that they needed some type of discipline measure. instead, it legitimately means they need a moment to have physical activity in order to settle down that need they have to be able to move forward with allowing the brain to focus.
Fun Brain Breaks for Kindergarten Ideas
A fantastic product for this is certainly by using Brain Break Bingo. This is a game that is displayed prominently in your classroom and anytime a brain break is needed, the students pick from a cup to determine which brain break activity and they will be partaking in. They that hang that on the Bingo sheet, and when they do complete a row of bingo, they get to complete a larger activity which is still considered a brain break but is also a prize. This may be an extended recess, a dance party, or anything else that the class or teacher has decided would be an appropriate activity to reward their students. It just helps add an extra element of both fun and buy-in to the concept.
Another great option would be incorporating yoga in the classroom. You don’t have to be a yoga master in order to do this really well with your students. A great tool to help you is The Yoga 4 Classrooms Card Deck by Lisa Flynn. This set has a variety of different yoga and mindfulness activities that you can pick from at a moment’s notice to be able to complete with your students. This will help then energize or calm down and in the category of fun brain breaks for kindergarten, this is at the top of the list. The best part about teaching yoga to a child of this age is that they start to realize when it is if they could use this on their own. When my son was 7, he took a six-week yoga class that took place on Fridays before school at his elementary school. The change I saw in him was unbelievable. He started learning how to calm himself and outbursts that used to be regular became far and few between. Imagine what doing this with an entire class of kindergarteners could do for the environment of the classroom.
Another great option is 101 Brain Breaks & Educational Activities by Joshua MacNeill. This is a book you can keep on your shelf and pull from whenever you need a unique idea for a brain break. They’re all different kinds of activities in this book. I would suggest going through it ahead of time and maybe marking pages with different colored Post-it notes for what you wish to accomplish. Maybe it’s energizing, maybe it’s relaxing, but you can know exactly which page to flip to at a moment’s notice when you certainly see that your students need that brain break.
Again, the greatest part about incorporating fun brain breaks for kindergarten is that your students are ready to buy into whatever it is that you show them. That is certainly the best part about starting a process like this with the younger children. They love to do the activities that you lay out for them, and by teaching them the skills on how to incorporate brain breaks into their everyday lives at their age, as they get older and life becomes more stressful, they will know different things that they can do to help themselves get regulated energized or relaxed. Truly starting brain breaks at such a young age develops a life skill that will help our students be able to stay engaged and perform at their best abilities as they get older and move forward towards adulthood.