Brain Breaks: Simple Brain Break Puzzles to “Spark” and Awaken the Brain for Higher Learning
This article provides helpful Brain Breaks to improve your child or student’s learning ability in the classroom. Affiliate links are included for your convenience. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.
Helping your child or student get their daily dose of “Brain Breaks” doesn’t have to be difficult or laborious. Short bursts of physical and mental exercise right next to your child’s desk is sometimes all your child needs to rewire the brain for higher learning.
Because all children fidget and feel distracted at some point of the day, “Brain Breaks” are needed to “awaken” the brain before, during and after school to prepare the brain for receiving and retaining information. “Brain Breaks” are important for ALL children, not just those that struggle in school or have learning challenges.
John Ratey, author of A User’s Guide to the Brain, says exercise is “Miracle-Gro for the brain” because it stimulates nerve growth factors.
Brain Break Puzzles
As more children come to our center, the common denominator is usually lack of movement, balance and coordination, core muscle and hand-eye coordination. Believe it or not, all of these areas are important for your child’s learning development.
Without mastering these types of movements, how can children have the strength to hold up their head to copy notes from the chalkboard, grip a pencil, track words on a page and have enough attention to retain facts the teacher is teaching.
Many parents and teachers have asked me, “How do I better prepare my students or child for higher learning?” The easiest and most effective way to help kids, especially in the classroom, is to use simple and easy “Brain Break” puzzles that take only 5 to 10 minutes each day. Because recess is often limited, these short bursts of physical activity can reignite the brain for better learning.
To better help parents and students, we decided to create several simple and easy patterns to not only improve brain activity, gross motor skills and balance and coordination, but faster processing and visual perception for reading, organization, problem solving and critical thinking.
Brain Puzzle Instructions
All exercises should be completed individually or in a group setting. Instruct your child or student to maintain a straight body (stiff like a board). While completing these exercises, the child should not bend from side to side. The goal is to keep the body upright while moving only the arms and legs. This will engage your child’s balance and vestibular systems for better sensory integration.
At first, complete the exercises one at a time, especially if you are in a group setting. As the child becomes familiar with how the exercises are performed, post the exercises to the chalkboard or on the wall and have them complete each exercise without supervision, but continue to watch the child to ensure they do the patterns correctly. If they do not complete the patterns in the correct sequence or if they do the wrong exercise, have them complete the process again for proficiency.
If a child or student has difficulty completing the exercises after multiple times, this could be a sign for parents and teachers that the child may be struggling in certain areas of learning development.
The goal is to have your child read the exercises from right to left and process the information more quickly as they become proficient. If a child has learning challenges, complete the process slowly until they can increase their speed.
Benefits of Brain Break Puzzles
As you complete these Brain Break puzzles, your child or student will begin to improve in the following areas:
- Balance and coordination
- Core stability
- Vestibular (attention and focus)
- Processing speed (recognize and retain information more quickly while reading, taking tests and completing math sequences)
- Tracking words across the page
- Follow directions, complete homework
It’s important to begin these exercises as early in your child’s development as possible. Preparing your child for learning while they are young and while the brain is evolving is the most critical time to “rewire” the brain for harder concepts. Children who begin these types of exercises much later in life often have more difficulty in the classroom and have to work harder to retrain the brain.
To get the full copy of our Brain Breaks Puzzles, click here or click the image below.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
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