Brain Breaks to Support Self Regulation in the Classroom

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20 pages
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Students need regular brain breaks that help them regulate their behavior. Throughout a school day, there are constant demands on students to stay in control of their behavior, complete their work, focus on instruction, and participate. That’s a lot of self-regulation for young students.

It can be very helpful for teachers to use activities and strategies throughout the day that help students regulate. One of these strategies is brain breaks. These are short, simple activities that teachers can do during transitions and as a regular part of the schedule.

Not all brain breaks are created equal. They should be responsive to the students’ behavior. Some times you need activities that will help students wake up after they have been sitting for too long. Other times, you need something to settle everyone back down after an exciting activity. Or sometimes you just need to get everyone in the learning and thinking mindset.

This resource has three kinds of brain breaks: Energizing, Calming, and Focusing. They will help you be more responsive to the students in front of you.

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  • Tips for Brain Breaks
  • 18 Energizing Brain Breaks with Teacher Instructions
  • 18 Calming Brain Breaks with Teacher Instructions
  • 18 Focusing Brain Breaks with Teacher Instructions
  • 30 Would Your Rather Questions
  • 10 Brain Teasers


This resource is ideal for elementary school staff, particularly classroom teachers and special education teachers. This can also be a great resource for new staff looking for more structure during transitions.


© Social Emotional Workshop

Total Pages
20 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
Lifelong tool
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