Brain Breaks are short activities, often only 1-3 minutes long, that help kids get ready to learn or refocus on the task at hand. They often involve physical activity and movement though relaxing activities can also boost mental brain power. 

So in addition to encouraging your kids to participate in these fun breaks, join the kiddos and have some refreshing, stress-free fun yourself, too! 

Supplies needed

  • You and your child 
  • A chair or two or some other physical obstacle

Here’s what you do 

  1. Place a chair or other obstacle in an open space. For an added challenge, add an extra obstacle or two. 
  1. Have child stand somewhere in the open space. 
  1. Instruct your child to go around the obstacle to reach a target destination using only your voice commands to get there. Use only one command at a time and be sure they are specific. 

Some sample commands: 
Take one step forward. 
Take one step backward. 
Turn right. 
Turn left. 

  1. Laugh along the way and celebrate reaching the target destination. 

Activity Extensions 

For the little ones: 

Still giving one command at a time, speed up a bit. See how quickly your child can respond to the commands as they get faster and faster. This can get really silly! 

For the older kids: 

Have your child give you the commands to get around the obstacle to the destination. They may find this is harder to do than it sounds! 

“The Why” behind the Activity 

The goal of the activity is to build critical thinking skills in an unplugged setting. This coding activity introduces basic concepts like sequencing and algorithms which are foundations for understanding the machine language of computers compared to human language. 

Check out these books for more coding fun! 

All about Coding Loops by James Bow  

All about Coding Sequences by George Kulz 

Coding with Hopscotch by Alvaro Scrivano and Sue Downing