There has been plenty of research linking brain breaks to higher productivity among adults in the workplace, but recent studies (and observation during virtual learning) show that elementary school students also need regular, short breaks to move around, interact, and make something to be able to better focus on their academic lessons. These quick brain pauses peppered throughout the day aren’t just downtime for students during school; these minutes are critical to youth development in afterschool programs, too, by providing children with opportunities to engage their creativity and social skills.
While our program staff structure curriculum to help support the academic goals of the classroom, FUN is at the heart of all things AYS. Here are a few ways we take movement and brain breaks in between math and literacy exercises and homework help!
1. Dance Party
2. Simon Says
3. Yoga Breaths
And a few other ideas we’ve picked up from resources like the We Are Teachers blog. All it takes is a little creativity and a few short minutes to make a break impactful for a child’s wellbeing.
Bonus Break Idea: Did you know taking time out for a snack counts as a brain break? Fuel up with some protein and carbs to encourage better focus for students during guided projects and homework help. At AYS, we provide healthy, hearty snacks at each of our sites to help students stay energized and engaged for both academic pursuits and physical activities.