Brain Breaks for Kids

printable brain breaks for kids

Here are my favorite brain breaks for kids to do at home or in the classroom! Lots of printable activities you can use over and over again, for kids of all ages!

These printable brain breaks for kids were created by special education teachers and fellow pediatric therapists over at Your Therapy Source. I personally make use of these resources and am sharing my recommendations. If you decide to purchase one of their products through my links, I will receive a small commission which will help to support my website. Clicking on the Add to Cart button will take you to their website to complete the purchase.

Mini Movement Breaks

More than 60 sensory motor activity cards that make perfect brain breaks for the classroom!

Only $4.99

These brain break activity cards are ready to print – with lots of imaginative movements that children carry out in response to your instructions. This is a great resource that you can have on hand to get the wiggles out of your kids! No prep or resources needed – just grab a card and read out the instruction! There are 9 cards on each page.

The download comes with ideas for how to present the activities - for example, kids can pick them out of a box or a pocket chart. It is a good idea to sort through the activities ahead of time – perhaps create separate boxes for on-the-spot activities, and for activities that need a bit more space/move-around-the-room.

Some activities require a partner, while some can be done in sitting, so I do recommend that you sort them and curate them according to the needs of the class/child/occasion/time of day.

There are no pictures with these brain breaks - kids need to read the simple instructions or listen to the teacher reading them. The instructions are super-easy to follow and lots of fun to carry out.

Ideal Age: preschool through early elementary

Size: 1.2 MB

Printing: Black and White for the brain break activity cards. You can use color printing for the box covers if you wish. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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Monster Movements for Transitions

56 quick sensory motor movement cards that make great brain breaks for kids at school or at home.

Only $3.99

There are 56 movement cards (8 per page) with funky monster illustrations.

24 cards have fun movements, there are 26 alphabet themed cards, with movements that correspond to an animal in the alphabet. In addition there are 6 skip counting/math themed cards.

Some of these brain break activities can be done on the spot or around a desk, while others are great for larger spaces. Because they have been designed for transitions, many of them are perfect for kids to do when moving between classes, or when packing away books between lessons.

There are no pictures with these brain breaks - kids need to read the simple instructions or listen to the teacher reading them. The instructions are super-easy to follow and lots of fun to carry out.

Ideal Age: preschool through early elementary

Size: 5 MB

Printing: Color printing for the colorful monsters, but you can also use them in B&W format, perhaps printed on color cardstock for interest. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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Motor Minute Challenges

These brain break worksheets will give your child a variety of fine motor, gross motor and visual motor challenges to be completed in a short time.

Only $4.99

These brain breaks for kids are completely different to the others I have reviewed, and super fun!

Instead of a single gross motor activity card, each child receives a sheet of paper with 4-6 themed activities to complete as a brain break – fine motor, gross motor and visual motor activities.

This is a great way to give kids a complete break from a difficult academic task.

The sheet should ideally be selected by the parent or teacher ahead of time. Although many of the activities just require a pencil and some on-the-spot space to do the gross motor activity, some sheets do require everyday objects such as buttons, coins, drinking straws and dice, so it is a good idea to plan ahead to have these on hand.

These are great brain breaks for kids in a homeschool setting, and/or an informal school setting that has lots of space, or where kids can easily move back and forth between their desk and open space in order to complete the activities (eg open plan kindergarten classrooms).

Ideal Age: preschool to early elementary. The author suggests that older kids can aim to complete all the activities on the page in one or two minutes, giving younger kids 3-4 minutes.

Size: 8.5 MB

Printing: Black and White. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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** Brain Break Machine ** (My Top Pick)

50 quick exercise breaks for in the classroom or online learning. Print them out, play the video or use the many options!

Only $9.99

This awesome resource is my favorite set of brain breaks for kids! With this single purchase you get:

- an MP4 video (with music) that you save to your device and play it without needing to access the internet again - this video contains images of all the brain break exercises - basically you start the video & music and stop it at a random point then your child/class has to do the exercise that is shown on the screen at that point - kind of like a brain break musical chairs! ALL of the exercises are on this video, though, so you won't be able to curate them and leave out the ones you don't like, so make sure you have enough space for the occasional brain break that requires the kids to move around the room!

- Regular PDF Printables that you can print out and laminate. Available in either a full page per activity, or smaller brain break activity cards to pull out when needed. Good old-fashioned cards!

- Power Point and Google Slides that can be used in online classes / telehealth visits, or on your whiteboard in the classroom - just pick the brain break you want to use for your session / presentation / lesson and slide it right in! This way, you get to choose the activity that is just right for the age of the kids and the space/time you have available.

Many of the activities can be done on the spot / in a small space next to the desk, with no additional resources required. There are a few activities that require the kids to move around the room, but you can take those out if you need to. There is a picture to illustrate each activity.

Ideal Age: All ages! There are a huge range of activities - some are simple and more appealing to younger kids, while some are challenging enough for young teens to do on the spot in their classes. You should be able to find a variety of brain breaks to suit the age of your child.

Size: 49 MB (this includes ALL the resources above)

Printing: Color printing is best for the cards, but you can use grayscale/ B&W if necessary. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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Brain Breaks for Winter

30 fun brain break activities with a winter theme. Perfect for indoor recess!

Only $2.99

These really cool brain breaks are great for days when you and your kids are stuck indoors! There are 30 sweet and simple winter-themed exercises with no prep required.

Most of them can be done on the spot, standing behind a desk or even seated in a chair AT the desk. There are a couple that ask the kids to move around the room in a certain way, so you will need a bit of space for those ones.

The 5 simple spinners can be used as a fun way to choose the brain break, or you can just pull a card out of your brain break jar.

The download includes a  "Roll Some Fun" sheet, which adds some more oomph to choosing an activity. There are 5 columns of brain breaks, so you roll one dice for each of the columns and do the brain break that matches the number on the die.

The author has added a "Calm Down" poem (should that be "cool down"? LOL!) that is a helpful way to transition from the excitement of the activity, back to the lesson.

Ideal Age: These are ideal brain breaks for kids of preschool, kindergarten and early elementary age. Young kids will particularly enjoy moving like the snow animals featured in some of the brain break activity cards.

Size: 7.2 MB

Printing: The cards are really attractive, so it is worth printing in color and laminating to make them last. But they are still usable in B&W/grayscale. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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Roll Some Fun

These brain breaks require no prep and can  encourage gross motor, visual motor and sensory motor skills.

Only $9.99

The basic concept behind these activities is to roll a dice and carry out the instructions for the number that you rolled. The first roll indicates the choice from the first column, the second roll from the second column and so forth. The pages have between 4- 6 columns, so that gives 4-6 kids a chance to roll a dice if you are doing it in a classroom setting, or each child can roll their own dice to complete the task on his/her own.

Roll Some Fun contains a mixture of seated, movement and exercise brain breaks, and you will need to go through them to see what ones work best for the class/child you are working with. The seated brain breaks are mostly drawing breaks, the movement ones will send your kids on a search for the items, scavenger hunt style, and the exercise brain breaks give specific exercises for your child to do.

IMHO, only 3 of the seated ones are useful as a quick brain break - the Roll-a-Cartoon-Face 1 & 2 and Roll-a-Monster. These are fun and easy brain breaks for kids to complete in a short space of time, and provide some visual motor practice. The other drawing options are made up of rather intricate designs which require a lot of coloring and would take more time that most of us can allocate to a brain break! 

The scavenger hunts work well for parties or for small groups of kids, but I found them a bit chaotic for large groups.

I found the exercise brain breaks (about 15 sheets of them) to be the most helpful as brain breaks in a classroom setting.

Each sheet has slightly different instructions, so you need to familiarize yourself with the procedure for each sheet before you present it to your class. You can use a different page each day and have a different child roll the dice every time the class needs a brain break, and then everyone does the break indicated by the dice. Some are hilarious! There are no pictures with these brain breaks - kids need to read the simple instructions or listen to the teacher reading them.

If a sheet is a hit, consider printing it larger and laminating it, and use a wipe-clean marker to show the exercises rolled for that day.

Ideal Age: All Ages! But please do check that all the exercises on the page you choose are suitable for the age of your particular child/class.

Size: 9.5 MB

Printing: The pages are in color, but you can use B&W to have the instructions and columns come out in shades of gray. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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Aerobic Exercises for Small Spaces

Use these quick and easy exercises as on-the-spot classroom brain breaks!

Only $5.99

Although some of these can be done by younger kids, I feel these are ideal brain breaks for kids aged 10 or older who are reasonably coordinated and reasonably fit. They require coordination and control, and can be used to build strength and cardiovascular fitness as part of the break.

There are 15 pages of illustrated exercises that can be done on the spot. Each page has a picture of the exercise, and instructions on how to carry out the exercise. Each exercise also has a QR code and a bitly link to enable you to watch the animated video of that exercise.

These videos are 30 seconds long and ideal for showing to your online classes as well as your in-person classes and/or your own child at home.

Ideal Age: Elementary and older

Size: 4MB

Printing: Although the pictures are in color, you can easily use Black and White printing for these exercises. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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Exercise Posters for Kids

This set of 5 posters gives students simple fitness exercises that make great brain break activities.

Only $6.99

These colorful exercise posters are lovely for classrooms and give kids ideas of what to do during a break in lessons. Can be done on the spot.

These are ideal if you are wanting your child/class to take ownership of what kind of break their body needs - do they need something vigorous or something calming? Each child could choose one that best suits his/her needs at that moment.

You can also have kids take turns choosing an activity from the poster that the whole class has to do.

Each exercise comes with an illustration and instructions on how to carry it out effectively.

Exercise themes include:

  • Wake-Up Exercises (vigorous, aerobic)
  • Be Strong Exercises (slow movement, holding a position to build endurance, mostly core exercises)
  • Focus Exercises (yoga based poses)
  • Stretch Exercises (variety of stretches for all parts of the body)
  • Calming Exercises (yoga based and breathing exercises)

Kids need to be closely supervised in some of the exercises to make sure their body is well aligned and they are not putting adverse strain on their joints. I personally find the Wake Up exercises to be the best ones for large groups - some of the be strong and stretch exercises also work well in large groups, but one or two require the use of a mat to avoid injury. 

Ideal Age: Elementary and older.

Size: 5 MB

Printing: Color printing for best results. You may reprint this resource as often as you need to.

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New! Try A Free Exercise Break Download!

Your Therapy Source has developed a new Fitness Game Exercise Spinner that provides you with great exercise ideas for small spaces.

The product comes as a MP4 video, Powerpoint, Google slides and old-fashioned PDF printables.

So versatile, easy to use and FUN, especially for the winter months!

Pop over and try the free Fitness Game download for yourself!

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Related Pages

If you are looking for more gross motor ideas that can be used as brain breaks for kids, why not check out these pages of my site for photographed activities and tips:

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How To Buy and Use These Brain Breaks for Kids

When you click on the "Add to Cart" buttons, you will be taken to Your Therapy Source's shopping cart.  Once your order is complete, pay for it and then you will receive download links for the e-books, which come in PDF format. Save them to your device and then print out the pages as and when you need them.

You are allowed to print as many copies as you need for the children in your family, classroom or therapy room, so they are great value for money. I have tried all these e-books myself and believe they are well worth the tiny investment if you want to improve your child's  skills.

If you are looking for free resources, there are lots of free gross motor activities on my site! Simply browse on my menu!

Honesty Point

As an affiliate for Your Therapy Source, I will receive a small commission on the sale of any of these brain break printables if they are purchased from my site. However, the reviews are all mine and completely honest. I had found and used YTS products myself before requesting to make their e-books available to my visitors.

Thank you for supporting my site!

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