Do you know a child who gets antsy after sitting a long time? Is homework or seated work a chore? Believe me when I tell you, you are not alone! In fact, this is something we have struggled with both in our home since we started to homeschool, and in the past when we had to struggle through our homework from public school. A few years ago, I started incorporating brain break exercises into our daily routines and quickly learned how much easier seated work was for everyone involved.
I am excited to be working with our awesome sponsor, Handee Band, to bring you 15 super simple brain breaks you can use with your kids at home, in school, or just for fun! At the end, we have a little surprise for you, so be sure to stick around to check out our little gift to you!
What are Brain Break Exercises?
Brain breaks are simple, easy to do exercises that engage the body and brain in activity. They are used as a break from seated work, as a calming activity after high levels of excitement, or as an arousal exercise after long periods of “brain work”.
They can be as simple as hopping on one foot or practicing yoga stretches. They can pre-determined by a set of cards and instructions or they can be impromptu.
These simple exercises are a wonderful way to engage children in movement in a fun and exciting way when getting to the park or a large open field isn’t immediately available.
Why are Brain Break Exercises Important?
Research has proven time and time again that kids need to play and they need movement to learn. Brain breaks are excellent for providing children with quick and easy ways to incorporate that movement into their school day, when they would otherwise be sitting for long periods of time.
Another incredibly important factor in child development and learning is the organization of their sensory systems. A child’s sensory system is directly tied to their ability to sit in a chair properly, hold a pencil and even write legibly. These daily “school” tasks require children to have increased muscle control and core strength, which they often lack.
With just 5-15 minutes a day, brain breaks will increase upper body strength, increase muscle tone, allow children to gain motor planning skills and so much more.
Our sponsor, Handee Band, makes these brain breaks even easier with an easy to follow guide with ADORABLE characters that your children will love (I know mine do).
Handee Bands provide sensory (proprioceptive) input so children gain a better understanding of where their bodies are in space and the amount of pressure required when pushing or pulling. Proprioceptive feedback can be calming for a child who needs to move constantly or is very active.
15 Simple Brain Break Exercises
The first time I saw Handee Band I knew it was something I had to try! I could tell the benefits without even seeing the whole package. They have this awesome video that shows just how great the bands are for strengthening exercises and sensory input. What I didn’t realize until I received our kit in the mail, was just how great this tool was for independent brain breaks and sensory work!
My kids immediately fell in love with the 15 characters and the adorable drawings of exercises to try. I thought I might have to beg them to try all of the exercises, instead, they wanted to try ALL OF THEM! However, it didn’t stop there!
During our homeschool day, we have a schedule of one brain break exercise or heavy work activity after ever “sitting/focused” activity. Since the boys are different ages (7 and 9), they often get finished at different times and one has to do their “brain break” on their own. The Handee Band was perfect for this!
The kit comes with 15 simple and easy to follow exercises that are in the cutest little tri-fold book. The book has a handy chart, dry erase marker, reward stickers, and a zipper bag to house everything including the Handee Stretch Band!
The exercises are easy enough for my 7 year old to read, but engaging enough for my 9 year old to do time and time again. The boys favorites and go to brain breaks have quickly been identified.
Some of the exercises included (but you are definitely not limited to just the exercises and brain breaks in the book).
- Bow and Arrow
- Super Hero
- Race Car Driver
- Row Boat
- Frog Jumps
- and many more!
Which brain break do you think your children would like most? Do you currently have a system for getting your kids to move? I would love to hear all about it! Better yet, I would love to see them! You can share them with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribe by email in the sidebar.