Brain Breaks for Kids

It’s easy to find brain breaks for kids on the internet but what if you need brain breaks that do not involve computers or tablets? Here are some technology-free (stay-in-the-classroom) brain breaks ideas that I offer to my students in my special education classroom.  These brain breaks for kids are fun but helpful for the kids in so many ways.

Some of these games I acquired, while others I purchased along the way.  Some games appear too young for your kids and others appear too old.  The reality is kids will be kids if you let them!  Take away their technology for a little and they will surprise you!

When you implement brain breaks for kids like the ones below, here is a small word of advice: Understand your student’s frustration levels before getting started.  For example: A student that becomes easily frustrated may not enjoy something as complicated as The Original Perplexus Ball as a brain break! 


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Brain Break #1 : Classic LEGOs

LEGOS are a huge part of my classroom brain breaks for kids.  When you give a child the freedom to build anything their heart desires, you learn so much about them.  LEGOS can be purchased in both large and small sizes.  NOTE: LEGOS allow kids to have fun while secretly keeping their minds active, don’t tell them!

They were so excited to build these, they wanted me to take a picture!

Brain Break #2: Lincoln Logs

These may be a blast from the past but kids still love them!  NOTE: Lincoln Logs are similar to LEGOs but it takes a little more patience (they are easier to tip over).

Brain Break #3: The Original Perplexus Ball

This is a popular item for kids trying to challenge themselves.  This is NOT popular for kids that become frustrated easily.  This Original Perplexus Ball is an individual break.  Students need to guide the ball through the maze without falling off. From my experience, students that choose this break stay quiet and focused.  NOTE: I have also used this ball for practice with self-control.

Brain Break #4: Marble Run

Another oldie but goodie!  This marble run game makes kids think, build, and create!  I often allow students to work together on this to practice teamwork.  NOTE: There are small marbles in this game, so know your audience.  If you have students that put things in their mouths, maybe this is not the brain break for them.

Brain Break #5: Wooden Block Marble Game

Similar to the plastic version above, wooden blocks marble game allows students to construct blocks into paths for the marble. NOTE: This is another great game for practicing teamwork!

Brain Break #6: Reading Rods

Okay, so this is more of a learning game, but some kids do enjoy making sentences using these reading rods. They get creative with them and try to make funny sentences. NOTE: The older kids may try to make inappropriate sentences during breaks. Don’t worry, these sets do not come with bad words so for the most part it’s all innocent!

Brain Break #7: Playdough or Kinetic Sand

I have to shout out to these two items because I have kinetic sand and playdough in the “sensory break” area of my classroom.  However, I found that even students that without sensory needs, enjoy using these as their brain breaks.  NOTE: Train students how to use them because they can get messy! A word of advice, always have tray for them to use it in.

Have you found the right Flexible Seating for your classroom? Find more options in these three blog posts:

1) Flexible Seating Options for your classroom

2) Get Creative with Flexible Seating in your classroom

3) Flexible Seating in the classroom!