Sunday, June 23, 2013


The first time I heard the phrase "brain breaks" I had a good idea what they were. After a bit of investigating, I concluded that brain breaks have been around for years. Do a Google search and you'll find all kinds of brain breaks. What's interesting is that brain breaks usually take place inside a school, and not outside. Note I said usually.  

In my opinion, recess was the first official brain break. Teachers can always sense when it's almost time for recess.  Joe keeps looking at the clock, Mary and Susan are fidgeting in their seats, Maria and Joshua are putting their books and materials away before class is over and Robert and Matthew are whispering to their friends about what they're going to do at recess. The focus on assignments has flown out the window at that point and all they can think about is running, playing, games, sports, playing on the playground equipment and who will be the first in line. Can we blame them? Of course not. 

Recess is a time to socialize and play in a "free zone". What I mean by free zone is that walking out the door to the outside, no matter what kind of environment it is, the kids feel a sense of "escape" from the day to day schedule and routine. It's like the line in Martin Luther King, Jr's speech "FREE AT LAST, WE'RE FREE AT LAST!   Isn't it the same for adults?

When things become too stressful or overwhelming, what do we do? Take a walk in a park? Read a good book? Horseback ride? Go to the gym? Work on something we enjoy doing? 

When I was in school, brain breaks had no specific name. When we finished our work we were told to "find something to do". 

Read a book
Draw a picture
Play a game (board game, card game)
Work on puzzles 
Write a creative story
Take a walk to the school library to get a new book
Help the teacher put up a new bulletin board
Clean out our desks
Organize our notebooks

If we were really lucky, Friday afternoons we could play Simon Says, Twenty Questions, board games,  
Heads Down, Thumbs UP  We had no idea what future "brain breaks" would be.

Today, with the evolution of technology, today's brain breaks often include dancing and singing videos. We now have the "Cha Cha Slide", 'The Gummy Bear Song", "The Hamster Dance", "The Chicken Dance", "The Shimmy Shimmy Shake" BUT WAIT! Do these sound familiar?

I'm glad kids have singing and dancing brain breaks!  See if you recognize any of these songs or dances. Chances are....YOU WILL! 

(I must admit. I danced to all of them after a stressful morning of chasing one of my dachshunds around the yard! He slipped his collar, picked up the scent of some kind of critter and raced to the back stream, leaped over it and was gone. I found him about 15 minutes later. He was down a rabbit hole. Just his tail was visible and puffs of dirt were flying everywhere as he dug furiously to find that "wascally wabbit".)

Fortunately for the WABBIT, I caught my little rascal! 

Have fun!!

                                                          THE SHIMMIE SHAKE

                                                        THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT








  1. Those are great videos! I have my students do Cosmic Kids Yoga during those wiggle moments or days when inclement weather keeps us inside- you can find them on YouTube.


    Visiting thanks to the Blog Hop! You can find me at:


    1. Hi Michaele! I love dancing so I figured what could be better than dancing with my students. They can't believe a teacher would dance with them. LOL Thanks for the Cosmic Kids Yoga suggestion. I'm going to check them out on YouTube! Thanks for stopping by. :)