Brain breaks can greatly help with attention and learning. Margaret Mary’s pediatric rehab team recommends including brain breaks for all children (and even adults) throughout the day to help with concentration, attention and mood during learning time and work. For optimal brain breaks, include these components:
- Heavy Movement: Heavy movement provides essential input to the head and joints, which works to release the neurotransmitters in the brain that help with mood and attention. Fast movements such as jumping, bouncing on a ball, running or aerobic exercise work to alert the brain. Slow movements like yoga, stretching or walking help to calm and re-focus.
- Keep it Purposeful: Kids need free recess time, but for brain breaks a purposeful task makes it easier to return to learning with an attentive mind. For example, follow along with movement/dances on Go Noodle or YouTube. You could also make a small obstacle course with your kids that includes an end goal. For older adults, try downloading a five to seven minute workout app on your phone.
- Breathing: Before returning to learning, take 10 deep breaths. Breathing helps to regulate as it increases oxygen in the brain. The rhythmic nature of breathing calms and gets us ready to work. For kiddos, use simple visualization techniques like smelling a warm cookie and blowing to cool it off. Or, blowing bubbles is a great activity most kids love and it encourages good breathing technique.
Five to 10 minutes can make a world of difference during this time of e-learning! To learn more about MMH’s pediatric rehab program, visit us online.