Break it Up! Five Awesome Brain Breaks for Remote Learning Sanity

A new school year is upon us and boy will it be a different one! While remote learning has a number of positives, especially keeping our families safe, it can also be a challenge. 

For example, remote learning can be a very sedentary act causing drowsiness, stiffness, and fatigue. In addition, sometimes our brains just need a nice little break, too! Here are some fun and fabulous ideas to get movement into you and your children’s days and have a brain recess while you are at it. 

Hit the Mat

There is nothing better for your body and your mind than yoga!  There are a number of great yoga practices out there and YouTube (try Yoga For Kids with Alissa Kepas) is the perfect platform to find one that is right for you and your child. If you haven’t don’t it before, you really must give it a go. It helps to still your mind so that you and your child can focus on the things you need to focus on later, it reduces stress toxins in the body, and it provides your muscles and organs with the circulation they need especially after all the blood has settled into your um, booty…

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Every day go on a short theme-centered scavenger hunt. Nature is your free, almost always available, stress-free zone. Use it! 10-15 minutes of adventure could go a long way to relieving remote-learning stress and give your kids the energy to  focus.  You could even add a challenge or competitive element to take it from a simple “walk” to a game.  Here are some ideas:

  • Find five green things (red things, blue things, etc)things
  • Find five different living creatures (Kids, you or your pets don’t count!)
  • Find five items of trash and dispose of them (wear gloves)
  • Find five blue objects
  • Identify five different kinds of leaves. Research what kind they are!
  • First to find five squirrels (or whatever wildlife you have around)! 
  • First to spot 5 natural cracks in the sidewalk
  • First to spot a four- leaf clover

Click, Take a Pic

Have your kids get up and get searching for the coolest photo opportunity they can find. There are some super cool ways to get kids thinking differently about the world around them, to look for the elements of design and art, and a cool way to get creative without making a mess!  Here a few photo activities to try.

  • Silly Selfies – Take five pictures of yourself with the silliest expressions you can come up with.
  • Happy and Serious – Take two photos of yourself – one happy and one serious – put them side-by-side in an app like PicJoiner.
  • Capture a photo of yourself jumping in the air!
  • Find an object and magnify it so that it makes a cool composition. Have your family members guess what it is!
  • Turn basic into beautiful. Find a cool way to photograph one of the most simple and commonly-used objects in your home.
  • Take a slow motion and a time lapse video of each of you performing a funny task or exercise. Check out NEOK12 for some really cool time lapse videos online. 
  • Recreate a favorite movie scene or scene from a storybook you all love (great for a short break, and gives you awesome fuel for social media!)

Get Dancing

There are very few exercises and activities more fun than dancing. Adding a dancing break every day is a must! Take turns choosing the songs and get up and move. Your kids will love seeing you dance to their favorite hip hop song, and it will be pretty fun watching them dance to some New Kids on the Block (sorry for the broad assumption that you like NKB). While you are at it, create a video of you and your family doing those dances for viewing pleasure or blackmail if need be! Maybe even put some TikToks on the big screen and do your family’s rendition.

Go Old School

Go old school with these breaks from learning and still use your brain with these fun old games:

  • Play Simon Says! This is so fun!  Pinterest has some Simon Says commands if you can’t think of your own, e.g., “Simon says, wave your arms in the air, wave them like you just don’t care.” So get moving… I mean, “Simon says, get moving.”
  • Green Light/Red Light – Best game ever, right?! When you have five minutes, go outside and give it a go across your yard. 
  • Freeze tag and Sharks/Minnows are fun games as well when you and your kids need a mental recess. 

Remote learning will be all-new for most of us this Fall and it may seem like a bridge-too-far to look for the silver linings. That said, if you make it a point to plan for a few 10-15 minute breaks throughout the week, you’ll not only reconnect to your family, you’ll also have some great pictures and memories that will last a lifetime.

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