Do you need some energy? Try some brain breaks!
Do some days feel like they drag – you might need some energizing brain breaks! What if you could add some simple tricks to boost your productivity or revitalize your homeschool day?
You are in luck.
I’ve giving you 46 simple ways to take some energizing brain breaks to boost your day!
When can I use these energizing brain boosts?
A homeschool day can sometimes be packed with so much activity that you need to shift gears in order to keep things fresh. In addition to using short lessons, you might want some of these fatigue busters for between lessons or even if you or your child has been sitting at a computer for too long.
Why do you call them brain boosts?
Most learning experts believe that exercising the brain can give a boost to memory or focus. A simple change from what you are doing can help regain focus and energy.
Monster List of Energizing Brain Breaks
Your favorites are explained below.
To Do In place
- 10 Sit-stands: Get up from your chair, and then sit back down. Repeat 10x.
- Do 10 sit-ups: Do crunches to keep your back from injury.
- Reach to the sky then to the floor. 10x.
- Balance on one foot for 30 seconds then switch.
- Sing a folk song at the top of your lungs.
- Marching in place
- Recite something from memory while standing.
Stretches and Yoga poses
- Neck rolls
- Primary back stretch (watch video). From an exercise program that I use regularly by T-Tapp.
- Warrior pose (see YOGA resources below)
- Child pose
- Downward facing dog
- Shoulder stretch: Stand in a doorway and place one arm flat against the wall. Twist away from your arm. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Switch arms.
- Shoulder rolls
Crossovers mean that the movement crosses over the midline of the brain. It’s used by Dianne Craft as well as the Brain Gym teachers, vision therapy, and other physical therapy. (See further study below)
- 20 Crisscross knee lifts: Stand. Lift right knee and touch with left elbow, and then left knee with right elbow. Repeat alternating sides.
- Thumb to nose or Thumb to Ear alternating: Arms straight out. Touch right thumb to nose (or ear), and then left. Repeat alternating sides.
- Alternating reaches to the side: Stand facing forward. Stretch your left arm across to the right like you were grabbing something from a shelf without turning to face the shelf. Then use the right arm to reach to the left. Repeat 10x.
- Pat head while rubbing tummy
- Front Ankle slaps: Stand. Lift your left ankle and slap it with right hand. Switch sides. Repeat 10x.
- Heel touches in back: Bend your knee as you kick your right ankle behind you and reach behind with your left hand to touch your right heel. Switch sides and repeat 10x.
- Thumb figure eights – eye tracking – left arm. Hold left arm straight out in front of you withclosed fist and thumb pointed up. Your eyes follow your thumb.
- Thumb figure eights – eye tracking – right arm – see above.
Near where you were working
- Pet the dog for 1 minute or the cat. Or the chicken? Or the fish?
- Wall push-ups: Go to corner of a room and so a standing push-up. 10x. Teens can usually do floor push-ups as a variation.
- Hopping in a circle. 1 minute.
High energy needed
- Stairs: Run up and down the stairs. Timed.
- Backyard laps: Run a lap outside being timed.
- Jumping jacks 20x.
- Cartwheels 1 minute: Only use this if you know they can do them already. I still can’t do a cartwheel.
- Shake your sillies out: Famous (but annoying) Raffi song covered by The Wiggles. Little kids love it.
- Instant Dance Party for 2-3 minutes. Use your favorite loud music.
- Swimming arm circles – opposite direction. 1 minute.
- Swimming Arm circles – same direction. 1 minute.
Food and snacks
Sometimes a little snack can stabilize blood sugar levels and can do the trick.
- Water: Get up and get a glass of water and drink it Always a good idea to hydrate.
- #1 Brain boosting snack: Fish oil! I can’t think of a single way this would work as a snack. Unless you like anchovy & olive “caviar” on crackers! YUM! See recipe link below
- Trail mix: Nuts, pumpkin seeds, DARK chocolate (must be >70%), craisins – this has all the brain boosters in one homemade mix. I like even amounts of the 4 ingredients.
Sometimes you need to regroup by taking it down a notch. Calming always involves being in the present moment and controlling your breathing.
- Wall sits: Sit without a chair against a wall. Hold for 30 seconds. Breathe deeply while holding the sit.
- Wim Hof breathing (see video. This can take 10 minutes)
- Boxed breathing: Inhale for 5 seconds. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds. Hold the exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat 10x.
- Parasympathetic inhale: Inhale once and then at the top of the inhale, inhale again. Release it slowly. Do not repeat. Can do this up to 3x per day to switch from sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic.
- Read a poem aloud. Slowly, with meaning.
- Unload the dishwasher
- Laundry folding races. Or do a load of laundry.
- 27 pickup:Run around trying to put away 27 itemsthat are not where they belong. This is a timed event. Inspired by Fylady.net who uses only 7 items. We found that wasn’t enough. Variation: a 27 trash pickup.
- Take out the Garbage or Recycling
Summing it up
I’ve summed this all up for you in a printable one-page guide to have on hand when you need a quick energizing boost.
Download the handy cheat sheet now.
Break up your day with Energizing Brain Boosters
I want you to leave with the idea that when your day slogs, you have ideas at your fingertips. You can change the pace and change the momentum. Or you can revitalize when things drag. You can change the energy level as needed to make a thoroughly satisfying day.
Your homeschool day can be revitalized. Use these tips to refresh and energize you and your kids.
For additional study
More about Energizing Brain Breaks and Focus
- 3 minute breaks
- Focused attention
- Kids and brain breaks
- Improve dawdling
- More on Dawdling
Crossover Midline Resources
- Dianne Craft (our favorite book from her: Brain Integration Therapy)
- Brain Gym
- Arms & legs crossovers
- The cross crawl
- More midline activities