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! 

Belly laughing makes the day better and relaxes your brain and body so let’s get to joking around. Laughing is important throughout your life!

Supplies needed:

  • Joke books
  • Your brain
  • Someone to listen and share the jokes

Here’s what you do:

Challenge Extensions:

For the little ones (Grades 1-3)

  • Draw a picture with funny faces or stick figures.
  • Draw a line or simple shape and then have someone close to you draw another line or shape and keep going to make a funny piece of art!
  • Read these jokes to someone:

What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?
Time to get a new fence.

What did the left eye say to the right eye?
Between us, something smells!

What’s Curious George’s favorite dessert to share?
A banana split!

How do ducks learn to fly?
They just wing it.

What do you call a T-rex after she goes to sleep?
A dino-snore.

What happens when you tell an egg a joke?
It cracks up!

Ernie, would you like some ice cream?

For the older kids (Grades 4 to middle school)

  • Create your own Knock-Knock jokes or draw a funny picture or scene with stick figures.

“The Why” behind the Challenge:

Did you know (from PBS):

  • Children with more developed senses of humor score higher in tests of intelligence and creativity
  • Humor promotes children’s language and literacy skills, since understanding jokes requires a sophisticated mastery of language
  • Teaching your children with humor aids learning because people tend to remember humorous lessons better
  • Having a great sense of humor can help reduce stress and ease social interactions, enabling your child to diffuse conflict and make friends more easily

Check out these books for more fun!

Most joke and riddle books are found in the Dewey Decimal number 818!

Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids by Whee Winn

Laugh-out-loud Awesome Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott

Animal Jokes by U.R. Phunny (part of the “Big Buddy Jokes” series)

Check out these great websites for kids about joking around!

PBS Kids! Design a Joke

PBS Parents article: “Why Being Funny is Good for Your Family”

Bonus Fun

Watch this YouTube video for the simple joy of listening and relaxing, the fun of seeing all the colors on her bookshelf, and that it tickles, too! Try counting to 5 with this when you get to the top of each of your fingers.