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Brain Breaks are simple

2-3 minute mind-body challenges

teachers can use to break up the day or help students cut loose after an intense learning activity. To play, all you need to do is roll a set of dice . For example , if you roll a and a , students will play the Pantomime game . If you roll a and





a , students play the Sky Writing game . The first die roll corresponds to the left column ; the second to the top column . Happy Brain Breaking


DICE BREAKERS! STRETCHING Choose a student to come to the front of the room and lead one minute of stretching.


CRAB WALK AROUND THE ROOM Put on a song and have students walk in the crab position around the room. At some point, have students crab walk in reverse.

KEEP IT UP Students must keep a beach ball from hitting the ground. Add two or three balls to make it even more fun.

CELEBRITY-GUEST Teacher finishes the rest of the lesson as a celebrity.

20 JUMPING JACKS Get students’ heart rates up with this quick physical exercise.

HEADS UP, 7-UP Another classic! You know the rules!

TIC-TAC-TOE Give students some blank paper to play tic-tac-toe with a friend.

FOREIGN-EXCHANGE TEACHER Teacher finishes the rest of the lesson in a foreign accent.

DESK SWITCH Students have 10 seconds to grab their materials and find another desk to sit in for the remainder of the lesson.

DOODLE TIME Give students some blank paper and markers; allow them to doodle and talk for five minutes.

DANCE PARTY Turn on the radio and let students dance until the song ends.

PANTOMIME Teacher chooses one student to act out an activity without talking. The class must mimic the leader and then guess what the activity is.

MIRROR-MIRROR Students pair up and mirror the actions of their partners.

THUMB WRESTLING Students pair up and participate in some old-fashioned thumb wrestling.

ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS Students partner up for five rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winners get a high five from their partners.

SKY WRITING Students partner up and “sky write,” spelling words or a secret message to their partner.

AIR BAND Choose an "air" instrument and "rock out” to whatever song the teacher chooses.

SILENT YOGA Strike a yoga pose and see how long you can hold it!

OVER, UNDER, AROUND AND THROUGH Teacher decides whether students go over, under, around, or through imaginary or real objects. EXAMPLE: Over a sea of sticky peanut butter, under a cherry tree, around an ice cream cone, or through a sea of Jell-O.®

SPORTS GALORE Teacher calls out the following sports skills to mimic for at least 10-15 seconds:

STORY JAM 1. Teacher reads a story or passage to the class; students identify each verb or “action” word. 2. Teacher pauses during reading while class acts out each verb in place for 15 - 20 seconds.


CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ Teacher leads the class on a virtual tour of California. Students move at least 30 seconds for each of the actions below.

CODE-SPEAK The teacher arranges a code word—something fun like “Boom!” or “Shazam!” Whenever students hear this word, they must use both hands to hit the tops of their desks two times and then clap two times. This should wake them up!

ORDER IN THE COURT! Students line up in order by random criteria: alphabetically by first name, alphabetically by last name, by age (day and month).

QUIET BALL Students toss a beach ball quietly around the room. Talk or drop the ball and you’re out!

RHYTHM The first student creates a clapping rhythm and the rest of the class repeats it. The next student repeats the original rhythm and adds a few more beats; the class repeats the original rhythm plus the addition. This continues until the entire class has had a turn.

STUDENT-TEACHER TIME Teacher chooses one student to teach or review a short lesson.

FOLLOW THE LEADER You know how this one works! Go!

HISTORICAL GUEST TEACHER Teacher finishes the rest of the lesson as a historical figure.

ENTOURAGE (ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS TOURNAMENT) Students partner up and play RPS. If you lose, you have to "cheer" on the winner as s/he faces his or her next opponent. Whoever loses joins the entourage and play continues. Play until there are two people left, each with an entourage. At that point, play best out of three in order to win.

60-SECOND HIGH FIVE Students have 60 seconds to see how many high fives they can get before time runs out.

“TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME” You know the song. Belt it out!

TRADING PLACES Students stand behind their pushed-in chairs. The teacher calls out a trait; everyone who has that trait must change places with someone else who has that trait.

FIND IT FAST Call out a color or other trait (something round, something made of wood), and students must find an object in the room that fits the trait and get to it quickly.

HUMAN KNOT Students divide into groups of eight. Have students each grab right hands with someone who is not directly next to them. Then do the same with left hands. The challenge is to untangle and become a circle without releasing hands.

• Shooting a jump shot • Running through tires • Batting a baseball • Serving a tennis ball • Downhill skiing • Spiking a volleyball • Swinging a golf club • Throwing a football • Juggling a soccer ball.

• March across the Golden Gate Bridge • Surf in the Pacific Ocean • Climb up a Redwood Tree • Pretend you are an actor and wave to all your fans • Stomp grapes • Pick oranges • In-line skate on the boardwalk • Ski on the Sierra Nevadas.

Dice Breakers! has been adapted from Roll Some Brain Breaks, created by Master in the Art of Teaching Program

MARYGROVE COLLEGE 8425 West McNichols Road Detroit, Michigan 48221

Dice breakers 36 brain breaks for Students  

Marygrove College MAT