1-2-3 Brain Break: DIY Improvised Story (Inspired by Mad Libs®)

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:

  • Sheet of paper or a whiteboard
  • Pen or pencil or whiteboard markers
  • Two or more family members or friends

Here’s what you do:

1. The first step to making your own Mad Lib is coming up with a (very) short story. Your inspiration can come from anywhere or anything! Here are some examples:

  • a birthday
  • a holiday theme
  • a song you know
  • something you do every day such as brush your teeth – let your imagination go wild!

2. Write a few sentences. Don’t worry if they’re not funny at first; they will be when you play the game later on.

3. Now, choose between one and three words to take out of each sentence. Which words should you erase? Read your text once saying “blank” instead of some words. Here’s an example:

Monica put her favorite mint toothpaste on her toothbrush.

Changes to

Monica (verb) her favorite (adjective) toothpaste on her (noun).

And then becomes

Monica jumped her favorite pretty toothpaste on her banana.

If funny ideas start to pop into your head, you’ll know that’s a good word to erase.

4. Erase the words you’ve chosen, and replace them with a blank line.

5. For each word you erase, write the part of speech or type of word under or in the blank line (for example – adjective, noun, verb).

6. Ask a friend or family member to give you a word for each blank space in the story. Replace the old words with the new words that they give you.

7. Read aloud the new version of your story and laugh away!

Video by Youth Speak Out

Activity extensions:

For the little ones:

Create a 1 to 5 sentence story for them. Give your little one objects and toys to pick from to be the “words” in the blanks. Read the finished story with them.

For the older kids:

Instead of creating a story, create a song that you sing. You could even play an instrument while you sing the new song, or ask your family member or friend to play an instrument for you.

The “Why” behind the Challenge:

When we use our brain in creative ways, we enrich our social, emotional, and academic well-being. In addition, as the old adage says, “Laughter is the best medicine.” When we laugh, endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals in our bodies, increase. This helps us be more relaxed and happy.

Check out these funny books for more story fun!

I Am a Tiger by Karl Newson

My Tiny Pet by Jessie Hartland

Stretchy McHandsome by Judith Schachner

The Boring Book by Shinsuke Yoshitake

You Loves Ewe! By Cece Bell

Source: Unplug to Connect Make Your Own Mad Libs