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: 

  • Small stones with various images painted on them. I.e. Heart, rainbow, animal, flower, sun, raindrop, snowflake, tree, ladybug, slice of pizza, etc. 
  • Small box, bag, or other container 
  • Alternative: Instead of painted stones, use pictures cut out from magazines or hand-drawn images on small pieces of paper. You could also use words instead of pictures. 

Here’s what you do: 

  1. Place all stones in the box or bag. 
  1. Draw one stone out of the box or bag at a time. 
  1. Start making up and telling a story using the image on the stone as a prompt. 
  1. Continue drawing out stones one at a time, and continue the story using the image prompt on each stone. 
  1. Finish your story with the final stone. 

Video: Virtual Storytime: Story Stones Activity 

The “Why” behind the Activity: 

Inspiring kids to be creative develops a wide array of skills while also building their confidence. Using their imagination broadens their thought processes and problem-solving skills, and creating a story one step at a time can help them learn organizational skills too. Telling their own stories also gives kids a voice as they share their opinions and thoughts. Powering up their brains in creative ways also boosts their focus in other subject areas like math, science, and other languages.

More creative storytelling ideas! 

Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling by Emily K. Neuberger 

How to Build a Story by Frances O’Roark Dowell 

Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora