15 Best Brain Break Activities for Elementary Students

Brain breaks are essential tools in the elementary classroom, providing students with short, purposeful breaks from traditional learning activities.

These brief moments offer more than just a chance for physical movement; they serve as valuable opportunities to refresh the mind, reinvigorate focus, and enhance overall engagement. 

If you’re looking for the best brain break activities for elementary students, you’ve landed in the right spot. 

Incorporating a variety of interactive games, movement exercises, and creative prompts, these elementary brain breaks effectively balance the academic demands of the curriculum with students’ need for mental and physical rejuvenation. 

By using these brain break ideas in your elementary classroom regularly, you’ll transform the learning environment into a more productive place because students will feel more at ease and consequently focus better on their work. 

Brain Break Activities for Elementary Students

Here you will find brain break ideas for elementary students of all ages.

1. Play Simon Says. 

This classic activity combines fun and focus as the designated leader gives commands prefaced by “Simon Says.”

The twist is that students should only follow the command if it begins with “Simon says.”

If the leader gives a command without using that phrase, participants should refrain from following it.

Students who follow through with an action without being given the command must sit down.

The game continues until only one student remains standing.

2. Do Freeze Dance.

Put on some upbeat music and let your students dance around freely.

The catch is that whenever you pause the music, students must freeze in place. It’s a fantastic way to get everyone moving, grooving, and taking a moment to express themselves creatively.

The anticipation of the music stopping keeps students on their toes and provides a burst of physical activity that helps refocus their minds afterward.

3. Invent a Superhero.

Spark students’ imaginations by having them invent their very own superheroes.

Encourage them to think about unique powers, personalities, and costumes.

They draw or write about their creations, showcasing their creativity and writing skills.

This elementary brain break encourages students to think outside the box in a fun way.

4. Create Body Letters.

Connect movement and learning with this brain break activity for elementary students.

Assign a letter of the alphabet to each student, and then have them use their bodies to form that letter.

As a group, spell out words or challenge them to create short phrases.

5. Find Waldo Virtually.

Put a modern twist on the classic “Where’s Waldo?” game by doing it virtually.

Share a virtual image with hidden objects or characters, and challenge your elementary students to locate them.

6. Mimic Animals.

Choose a variety of animals and have students take turns mimicking their movements and sounds.

Whether it’s hopping like a kangaroo, slithering like a snake, or roaring like a lion, this activity promotes physical activity, creative expression, and imaginative play.

It’s a fantastic way to keep the energy up.

7. Play Floating Balloon.

The floating balloon brain break activity involves students passing a single balloon among themselves, aiming to prevent it from touching the ground.

Working as a team, they aim to keep the balloon airborne for as long as possible.

Alternatively, form groups to compete and see which team can sustain the balloon’s flight the longest.

8. Do a Color Hunt.

If you seek easy brain breaks for elementary students, this idea is a perfect fit.

Choose a specific color, and challenge students to find objects in the room that match that color.

Alternatively, show them pictures of objects in that color and have them identify items around them that fit the description.

9. Play Virtual Tic-Tac-Toe.

Embrace technology with a virtual twist on the classic game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

Divide students into two teams and play on a virtual tic-tac-toe board.

Call out coordinates, and let the teams take turns placing their X or O in the designated spot.

This brain break promotes strategic thinking, decision-making, and friendly competition while providing a quick mental challenge.

10. Say a Cheer.

Infuse some positivity into the classroom by having your elementary students recite some fun cheers.

Prompt students to stand up and participate in a series of uplifting cheers that center on positive affirmations.

This brain break provides an opportunity for students to stretch their bodies plus enhance their growth mindset.

What’s more, students recharge their motivation, confidence, and endurance, boosting their learning engagement.

This activity may be led by the teacher or a student.

Brain Break Games for Elementary Students

These short, fun, and light-hearted brain break games help elementary students recharge and refocus.

11. Play Animal Charades.

Students take turns acting out an animal without using any words. Classmates work together to decipher the clues and have fun guessing which animal it is.

12. Participate In “It” Four Corners.

For this easy brain break game, assign each corner of the room a number or color.

One student is “it” and closes their eyes while the rest of the class quietly chooses a corner.

The student who’s “it” then calls out a number or color, and everyone in that corner is out.

This fun and easy game gets elementary students happily involved.

13. Do Alphabet Yoga.

Incorporating physical activity and learning, Alphabet Yoga assigns a yoga pose to each letter of the alphabet.

The teacher or a student calls out a letter, and the class has to strike the corresponding pose.

This activity is great for practicing letter recognition plus keeping elementary students engaged and energized.

14. Organize a Safari Scavenger Hunt.

Set up an imaginary safari adventure in the classroom or outdoor space.

Provide a list of animals for students to find or draw, and have them “spot” these animals around the area.

15. Make a Story Chain.

Begin a story with a single sentence, and have each student contribute the next sentence in turn.

Continue the story, allowing students to build upon each other’s ideas. Students will have fun hearing the finished story.

Final Thoughts On Brain Break Activities for Elementary Students

Keep students’ minds engaged in a creative and active manner by using these elementary brain breaks that are great for both young and upper elementary students. 

If you want to provide your elementary students with a refreshing break from traditional lessons while enhancing various skills and keeping the learning environment engaging, these are the best activities and ideas for doing so.