I really enjoy incorporating Brain Breaks into my classroom as a chance to include purposeful silliness (yes, it’s a thing!) and just shake our minds and bodies loose from what we’ve been focusing on! Awhile ago, I shared a blog post with some of my favorite Brain Breaks in a set of Google Slides, but I think it’s time to revisit that post and do a refresh with some options that work better for social distancing in the classroom.
Some of these will work with your virtual classes/hybrid classes and some would need some tweaks. Some are simply old favorites, but with 6 feet in between! Either way, I hope you find some inspiration for social distance brain breaks here!
Distanced Brain Breaks
- Rock, paper scissors – just spread out!
- Zip Zap Zoom
- Levántate si tú llevas – great for colors and clothing
- TPR – simple instructions. Make this more complex by giving them a chain of things to do before saying go!
- Guess who – describe a student in the room (or in your virtual room!)
- Gary Warchola shared the idea of having students pick a background on their Zoom call. You choose one of the pics and describe it – they guess who!
- Dance – just make sure you’re spread out
- Diez or Cien (counting game!) – instructions here
- Balance – balance a pencil on their finger, nose, head..whatever. Level up by giving them instructions (walk, stand on one foot, etc)
- Good ol’ Simon Says!
- Watch a silly video in the TL (or not!)
Quiet Brain Breaks
There’s a LOT of noise going on – screen time, headphones, videos, you name it. Here are some brain breaks that don’t involve more sounds:
- Three Snaps / Two Snaps shared by JJ Epperson – your right hand snaps 3 times while moving up and down and your left hand snaps 2 times while moving up and down. Both hands move continuously – it’s a feat of coordination! She has a handy video explaining this one!
- Simultaneously draw a square and circle with each hand – Pull a sheet of scratch paper out and try it, or just do it in the air. WAY harder than it sounds. Switch it up by doing different shape combos like star and triangle, star and square, square and triangle.. you get the idea!
- Arm circles – The good thing about social distancing is that you have plenty of space for big arm swings! Circle both arms forward 10x, then backwards 10x, then one arm one direction while the other goes the opposite, and switch!
- Silent Catch shared by JJ Epperson (and slow motion!) – Students “toss” an invisible “ball” back and forth in a big circle. Make it slow mo to switch it up!
- “Take a nap” – Turn off the lights and sounds. Heads down, just chill.