Get Kids Moving Every 10 Minutes for Learning
Children this young should have some movement built into their school-day at least every 10 minutes. This helps cognitive development, because movement and learning our housed in the same area of the brain.
Here are some ideas for quick movement breaks to build into a lesson or to help transition from one lesson to another:
*Get out of your seats and do a few stretches right by your chair. Stretch out arms, legs, back. Wiggle all over to finish.
*After reading a story about a giant, dinosaur, bear etc., try walking (flying, crawling…) around the room for about one minute like that creature. Then, have students continue with planned activity (coloring/drawing/writing all maintain the movement).
*Do a movement sequencing activity for a few seconds. This can be done sitting or standing. An example would be something like:
1. Stomp, Stomp (stomp feet)
2. Clap, Clap (clap hands)
3. Tap, Tap (tap head or other body part)
4. Pop, Pop (make popping sound with lips)
5. Wiggle, Wiggle (wiggle whole body)
6. Big Hug (hug self to end sequence)
Repeat sequence if desired. Make up your own. Try to involve extremities (hands/feet), mouth (making a fun sound; calling out items as you’re doing them, adding a sound effect to an item…), whole body (wiggle, shake, spin…). It is also helpful to cross the mid-line of the body with one or more of the sequence items (body hug; draw line left-to-right in air with one arm/hand, then right-to-left with the other, shake hands out on opposite sides of body one at a time); as most trained teachers know, this stimulates reading readiness among other things for the brain.
*Use Exercards by having one or two set aside; stand up, complete Exercard activity, move on with lesson.
*In-My-Seat Squeeze Breaks. Have students remain seated and perform the following exercises. Telling them to “squeeze” gets them to stretch the various muscles.
1. Bend down and wrap arms around both legs (either under thighs or in front of knees); squeeze both legs together. In doing this they should stretch out back, arms and thighs.
2. Pull one knee up to chest, rest heel on chair, give that knee a squeeze. Repeat with other leg.
3. Reach left hand up and over head to cup right ear; give that ear a squeeze. Repeat with other arm.
*Add your own ideas; be sure to check with a physical educator to include age-appropriate streches