Everything You Need To Know About Brain Breaks

Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Editorial Team

A teacher observed that in the first three days of her teaching where she was with her students, they were attentive during the first part of the class, but after approximately 20 minutes of her instruction, many of them became unresponsive, sidetracked, and even disruptive.

What do you think the reason behind this was? The little ones needed breaks from the session. Now, what does this mean? How to implement these breaks, and are there any tips for it? We will look into all of these areas by learning the science behind these quick mental breaks and how they might be used in the classroom.

Brain breaks- What is it all about?

Brain breaks are often short mental pauses that help pupils focus and pay attention during long sessions. Students’ brains may need to transport information from sensory receptors efficiently (what they hear, see, smell, read, think, and feel) to memory storage regions of the brain in order for them to learn to their full capacity.

The breaks may ensure the students rejuvenate their activity by ensuring oxygen flow to their brains. These breaks provide students a chance to reboot their day and boost their energy and relaxation.

Brain breaks

In general, most brain breaks last between 5 and 20 minutes, though most people prefer to keep them quick as well as to the point. For greatest effectiveness, it’s always advisable to incorporate a physical activity that will support mental energy because it will help youngsters learn to self-regulate and be more aware of when they’re getting bored or losing track of what they’re doing.

It teaches children that they can overcome obstacles in their homework. This may encourage them to strive. These activities are typically carried out in a classroom or academic setting, but they can also be carried out in other non-traditional learning settings with similar results.

It can take place both indoors and out. When included in studies, they are not only limited to providing cognitive time for students to retain their learning but also ensure enhanced productivity. These may sometimes be an opportunity to learn new social skills with overall improved brain function.

Brain break ideas- Quick tips for your little ones!

We’ve jotted down four awesome and noteworthy games that kids can play to keep your little one’s mind lively and fresh keep the ball rolling and keep them on track.

  • Mobility breaks: As the name suggests, these often include physical activities to rejuvenate the learner.  Stretches, yoga positions, skipping rope, push-ups, or quick dances are all examples of mobility breaks.
  • Serene Practices: Deep breathing, mindfulness practices, or undertaking an art activity like a coloring sheet are all good ways to take a mental break. These are often personal and often stipulate peace at the individual level.  To make the child relax,  the instructor may also play soothing music in between learning assignments and have them sit somewhere quiet, relax, and listen to music. 
Brain break ideas
  • Role plays: Giving kids varied scenarios to act out is a great approach to engage them. Students can choose the scenes and show off their abilities to relax. The teacher may ask them to imitate the following:
    • They’re in the driver’s seat of an automobile.
    • They’re blowing bubbles at each other.
    • Mimic an animal: Choose random animals with dice or a spinning wheel, then have the child act like that animal. You can also take rounds, play with various animals, and then vote on your best at the end!
  • A quick outdoor Trip: It’s always a good idea to get some fresh air! Taking a few minutes outside can make a bigger difference than you might imagine. It provides a nice break from study by providing a change of scenery and helping to rejuvenate the senses.

Benefits of brain breaks- Is it nearly an occult?

There are numerous advantages to using brain breaks, including helping children to be calmer, stay focused, and have better conduct, productivity, and comprehension. Through these practices, a lot of expendable energy can be implemented in the righteous direction. 

Moreover, mental breaks have been demonstrated to drastically reduce stress levels in children, resulting in organic learning benefits and improved levels of engagement. It’s apparent that brain breaks are a helpful and beneficial tool when used at the correct time and in the right way. Here are some other edges in detail:

1. Social Skills Development

Playtime breaks can be a great option for long break ideas.  This way they can get a chance to take turns, handle arguments, and address problems while recreating. They also learn how to control their own emotions and conduct, which are vital life skills. Recreational brain breaks may be essential for a child’s growth, and it is often constructive for better academics.

2. Improves The Behavior

It not only boosts kids’ physical health, but it also helps in improving children’s behavior[1] by enhancing their effort and capacity to stay focused.  Resulting in improved academic achievement. Unstructured breaks let kids and teachers relax. After a brief break, the child feels lighter and more prepared to resume his learning.

3. Aids In The Process Of Creativity

A state of rest after consuming long hours of learning allows our brains to wander. The brain remains extremely active in this state, but it lights up in a different set of areas than when we’re engaged in the outside world. This may often allow children to think outside the box and contribute to the generation of innovative ideas.

Brain Breaks- Is it supported by researchers?

Beverly J. Christian[2] did research on brain breaks. Here, it was found that there was no direct relationship between brain breaks and improved learning. Nonetheless, it is outlined that the enjoyment levels in the children were increased.  This way, they can prove beneficial. Further, a couple of other researchers also point out the importance of brain breaks and shorter sessions. 

Brain brekas

In a 2016 study[3], a team of researchers assessed how engaged elementary pupils were in class and concluded that they were distracted for more than a quarter of the time, being unable to concentrate on the teacher or the current work.

Shorter lessons, on the other hand, held students’ attention: teachers discovered that giving multiple 10-minute breaks rather than fewer 30-minute ones was more effective. These inferences may clearly mark that shorter sessions with breaks are often effective in instructing better.  

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and her colleagues used an fMRI scanner to examine neural activity in a second groundbreaking 2012 study[4], finding that short mental breaks in between lessons are critical for solidifying memories, reflecting back on prior experiences, and planning ahead; in other words, it helps define how we make sense of our day to day life. This conclusion may make sense as to why Brain breaks are often rejuvenating for learners.

Brain breaks are for everyone!

Now that we know what benefits relaxing one’s mind provides, it becomes a crucial question whether brain breaks are for everyone or just for young minds. Well, that’s certainly not the case, as everyone should indulge in brain breaks every now and then, not just to break the monotony, but to give oneself a break and relax the mind, body, and the senses to perform better.

  • Although the preschoolers generally have fun and creative activities that inculcate concepts and learning. However, taking a break and indulging in some brain breaks activities that are perfect for preschoolers and kindergarteners can be a good idea.
  • The older kids, who are in middle school and high school, too must take frequent breaks in between and relax their brains with some fun activities. This will ensure better productivity and many other benefits that can improve their academic performance. 
  • Individuals in college and other old students are often too burdened with work. For them, certain brain-break activities work the best! They can indulge in some fun games to relax their mind. Relieving the older kids from academic blocks, some activities ensure better productivity and even higher grades. 
  • While at the same time, adults at work too need a break! They can also engage in some activities that can help them soothe their senses, and get back to work all energized. A lot of these activities can also be carried out for employees who are working from home.
  • Living in the digital era where we all are enticed with games, there are brain break online games where one does not have to apply their mind, but just relax and have some recreation. Kids, adults, and older students can indulge in these games to give their brains a break!
  • Some websites have more than just games! These are the brain-break websites that everyone can make use of as they consist of audiobooks, the facility to listen to music, some fun activities, and much more. Helping students concentrate better, these brain break websites can be a fun way to take their mind off work for some time, and later get in with even higher spirits!

Tips for better brain breaks- To assist little ones finer!

While the knowledge from the above-stated lines creates value, some quick tips may further be assisting. Here are a few quick considerable strategies to remember the next time you see any child needing a break from sessions. 

Tip 1: Choose the appropriate time to give a break.

Allow kids to take a break before they become frustrated or lose focus. This is usually after 10 to 15 minutes of work for young kids. Middle and high school students can work for up to 20 to 30 minutes without taking a break. 

Tip 2: Consider engaging in a quiet hobby.

Allow the child to engage in a quiet activity to help them recharge their brains. Perform some mild stretching or deep breathing. Deep breathing is a technique for allowing more air into your body while also calming your nerves and lowering stress and anxiety. It can also aid in the improvement of your attention span and the reduction of pain.

Tip 3: Check to see if it’s indeed a break.

Changing from homework to a more labor-intensive activity (such as chores) will not help kids remain focused. Make sure the activities the youngsters participate in feel like a real break. A true break will begin to relax your mind. It helps release endorphins(according to the activity you have chosen), which are feel-good hormones that can help you boost your mood, concentration, and sleep.

Concluding thoughts 

We may now be able to persuade the importance of taking brain breaks in between sessions. These are often essential irrespective of the grade of the learner. It may be crucial to comprehend the importance of intervals to assist youngsters.

The good news is that mental breaks don’t have to take long in order to be beneficial! It provides benefits to both individual students and the classroom community. With these insights, you may check out the insights mentioned above and check out our list of fitting brain break activities to choose a fitting one. 

References :

  1. Carlson, J. A., Engelberg, J. K., Cain, K. L., Conway, T. L., Mignano, A. M., Bonilla, E. A., … & Sallis, J. F. (2015). Implementing classroom physical activity breaks: Associations with student physical activity and classroom behavior. Preventive medicine, 81, 67-72.
  2. Weslake, A., & Christian, B. J. (2015). Brain breaks: Help or hindrance?. Teach collection of christian education, 1(1),
  3. Godwin, K. E., Almeda, M. V., Seltman, H., Kai, S., Skerbetz, M. D., Baker, R. S., & Fisher, A. V. (2016). Off-task behavior in elementary school children. Learning and Instruction, 44, 128-143.
  4. Immordino-Yang, M. H., Christodoulou, J. A., & Singh, V. (2012). Rest is not idleness: Implications of the brain’s default mode for human development and education. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(4), 352-364.

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