When you want to improve your children’s focus, what’s your first option? If you aren’t thinking about brain breaks and boosts, you should be. We talked with Dr. Kristen Ford, an expert in physical education and health at Concordia College and co-founder of SchoolsAlive! along with Dr. Jenny Linker, Professor of Physical Education at North Dakota State University, about some of the best breaks to boost your brainpower.
“When people move, their heart rate increases and it gets their blood flowing. This movement encourages more oxygen to travel to the brain and helps students learn because they are more alert, able to focus, and ready to learn.” – Dr. Ford
Brain breaks and boosts don’t have to be solely movement based. Incorporating content into your brain boosts can help your child activate their mind even more. Adding content into your breaks can be as easy as playing trivia with class material or doing a jumping jack for every answer your child gives. According to Dr. Ford, even walking around or marching in place can help increase your child’s heart rate and boost their brains and energy levels.
Take a break with your kids and make it fun for everyone. “Making the break time a family event will make breaks even more enjoyable and memorable for the kids,” says Dr. Ford.
Which brain break and boosts are best? Having time to take a break and do something else for a while is a key part of maintaining your child’s focus, and these are some of our favorites.
Take a dance break. Put on your child’s favorite song or playlist and have a family dance party. Just a few minutes to listen to a song and get some wiggles out will encourage blood flow in their bodies and motivate their moods. If you’re in need of some tunes, we’ve got you covered with our fit Music Playlist.
Get moving with our fitBoost Cards. Pair the cards with our activity and improve your kids’ mental alertness. Use the warm-up section and get your heart rate up. Cool down and practice your stretches to increase flexibility!
Get up and stretch out. Take some time to stretch and touch your toes or do a quick yoga flow. Getting the blood moving in your kids’ bodies encourages more oxygen to their brains and increases their ability to focus.
Create a Take a Break Basket. Give your kids the power of choice and have them create their own Take a Break Basket. Fill it with coloring pages, chapter books, or challenge cards and let the kids choose how they want to spend their brain break. If you need some coloring inspiration, we’ve got you covered with our Positive Self-Talk Coloring Pages.
Enjoy a mindful moment. Our Mindful Moments cards make the perfect brain break for your whole family. Pull a card from the deck and do the activity together! Pretend you’re on a boat, shake like maracas, or guess the smell you’re smelling.
When kids understand that brain breaks actually boost their brainpower, it’s easy for them to stay motivated and take breaks often. Your child should enjoy a brain break every 30-60 minutes. You all deserve fun breaks during your day, no matter your schedule. Make the time and enjoy the break.
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