Every parent knows that qualities like commitment and work ethic will help their child attain academic success. But sometimes, your child may struggle through a problem, get frustrated, or show a general lack of devotion for their schoolwork. This scenario doesn’t mean that they’ve failed, given up, or struggled with the material.
It could simply mean they need a break — and brain breaks are perfect for helping your child refocus their attention. As a result, they can return to their schoolwork with fresh eyes and renewed motivation. Here are five easy brain breaks for kids.
What Are Brain Breaks?
It’s no secret that struggle is universal — everyone has become frustrated with a problem or situation where we can’t seem to find an answer. It happens to the best of us. However, staring at the problem hoping for a magical answer to appear isn’t going to help.
The solution is taking a break. No matter the project at hand, whether you’re drawing up documents for work or completing a math problem, setting aside time for breaks benefits us in many ways. In short, brain breaks give us time to rest, helping us recharge and refocus so we return to our work in a better headspace. Over time, taking consistent breaks can even help us become more resilient when facing stress and anxiety.
Incorporating Brain Breaks for Online Learning
Easy brain breaks can be incorporated into a remote, virtual learning environment. When a child spends a lot of time in front of a computer, getting them up and moving is essential to increase blood flow and keep them energized. This trick also gives them a chance to rest their eyes, which is crucial when you look at blue light throughout the day.
Here are five online school brain break ideas for kids:
1. Scavenger Hunts
A scavenger hunt is one of the best ways to give your child a fun, exciting break from classwork. One easy scavenger hunt idea is to tell your child to find a specific object in the house — a book, a pen, a ball — and bring it back in a certain amount of time. For a challenge, you can even give them a couple of items to find. Alternatively, teachers can utilize virtual scavenger hunts by telling students to find the objects and return to their seats within a specified time.
2. Dance Parties
Find a fun, upbeat playlist to instill some excitement into your child’s day. A dance party is the perfect antidote for stress and frustration, shown to improve mental functioning, self-confidence, self-esteem, social skills, and general psychological well-being. Of course, dance parties can be just as effective virtually, offering the same health benefits as they do in in-person classrooms.
Choose a category, such as books, movies, TV show characters, or animals. Then, have your child act it out while you guess. Playing charades is another effective way to instill a brain break into your child’s day, incorporating movement and creativity into one straightforward game. In a virtual setting, teachers can create teams with groups of students and have them play in the same way.
4. Brain-Body Teasers
These teasers make for great brain breaks because they stimulate the mind while encouraging physical movement. Try a classic one — pat your head and rub your stomach simultaneously. Or, raise both hands above your head and start making circles with one arm, going in the other direction with your other arm. While your child might find it challenging, that’s OK — it’s still a refreshing, stimulating time away from classwork.
5. Chair Yoga
This alternate form of yoga is a way to turn the seat your child is sitting on all day into a vehicle for peace and relaxation. The idea is to use their chair to complete various yoga poses. Here are a few poses your child can try out:
- Cobbler pose: Sitting in your seat with a straight back, bring the soles of your feet together in front of you. Remain in this position for a minute, focusing on balance and your breathing.
- Cobra pose: Sit on the front edge of your chair and look up to the sky, opening your chest up and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Put your hands on the back of your chair and stretch up, arching your back.
- Chair pose: Stand in front of your chair with your feet spaced apart. Keep your back straight, bend your knees, and lift your arms straight in front of you. Try sinking lower, as if you’re about to sit down, all while raising your arms higher into the sky.
These chair yoga poses are great brain break ideas for online learning, as they aren’t location-specific and can be done from your seat.
How to Make the Most of Your Brain Breaks
Though brain breaks can be effective activities for boosting productivity, your child should only use them when they’re needed. If you use them in excess, it could start to take some focus away from actual classwork. To keep your child’s brain break activities working as they’re intended, you can follow these tips:
Keep Them Short
Note that brain breaks don’t have to be long, drawn-out sessions — they can be as short as a couple of minutes. That’s all your child needs to refresh themselves before returning to their work.
Use a Timer
Use a timer on your phone, watch, or computer to keep track of the time when taking a brain break. Set an alarm for when the break is over, so your child knows when it’s time to go back to work. Keeping a hard cutoff time will add some structure to the brain breaks.
Get Feedback From Your Child
Every child is different, so yours may enjoy one brain break over another. Maybe they prefer breaks that involve movement rather than teasers or especially like the yoga breaks. Make sure you’re asking your child what brain breaks help them the most.
What to Know About CCA’s Resources for Online Learning
Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) can offer a flexible, creative education that caters to your child’s needs. CCA is an online charter school that lets students and families have freedom in the education process. Our families are guided through the entire process with mentors and service centers that can meet your every need. We encourage an environment centered around learning, growing, and striving for future goals and careers.
Learn More at Commonwealth Charter Academy
Set your child on a path to success at CCA. With a personalized curriculum, student-centered learning, and a strict anti-bullying policy, we can help your child find the right way for them to learn and succeed. Request more information today!