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Designed by an occupational therapist, this program takes a new approach to Brain Breaks. You choose from 40 Brain Break activities to help kids settle their bodies while building their listening, looking, focus, and creativity skills. These different types of activities have different effects on kids’ brains and bodies. They get ready for academic tasks.
What are the Categories of Brain-Building Brain Breaks?
1- Body Calming: These are heavy work activities like push-ups, squats, and animal walks. These provide proprioceptive input (hard work for muscles and bones) and are typically calming and organizing for children. These also include listening to slow and rhythmic music.
2- Body Alerting: These are energizing activities such as running in place, jumping, and spinning. These raise heart rate, increase epinephrine, and reduce restlessness. They help kids who are sleepy feel more awake. They help active kids satisfy their need for movement.
3- Build Listening Skills: These (and the following three categories of activities) involve an element of cognition and thinking. These activities may involve following directions from a teacher or student or listening to questions and responding.
4- Build Looking Skills: These visual activities address eye movement and visual perception.
5- Build Planning & Focus Skills: These activities include imitating body movements (Jumping Jacks, Skipping) which can be tricky for kids. Crossover activities, like pat your head and rub your belly, are harder because a child does different movements on the two sides of his body.
6- Build Creativity Skills: Kids get creative with these activities, as they think and imagine!
What Brain Break Activities Do I Choose?
For Whole Class Brain Breaks: If the class is very energetic, you may want to settle kids with Body Calming activities. If they are tired or sleepy, wake them up with Body Alerting activities. And think about what is next on your schedule – do you want to get them ready to listen or focus?
What is a typical Brain-Building Brain Break? You can choose activities from any category you want. For example, you may choose one Body Alerting activity, two Build Listening activities, and one Body Calming activity. Let kids have input too – sometimes they know what types of activities they need!
For Individual Brain Breaks: Sometimes a child benefits from his own Choice Board of Brain Breaks. This a “Sensory Diet”. A child who is always moving may need to do one Body Alerting activity (to let him move) and three Body Calming activities every hour.
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Visit my website at KIDS MASTER SKILLS for skill-building activities and information on the latest research on child development and learning!
Also, check out HANDWRITING HELP FOR KIDS to learn more about the skills children need to succeed with handwriting!
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