Brain Breaks

Kid’s Court is designed as an after school program, and we have found that including games and fun activities in each lesson plan is essential to a successful and interesting curriculum.  For the purposes of our curriculum we have designed and adopted a variety of different “Brain Breaks”.  Many of these correspond with Utah State Core Curriculum Requirements, as noted below.  The Brain Breaks are organized into four different categories below.

Physical Activities with Specific Purposes– This set of Brain Breaks are fun and physical and specifically related to certain aspects of the Kids’ Court curriculum.  These activities have the potential to be adapted with different sets of information, but they are described below in the formats and with the information sets that they were originally created around.  Most of these Brain Breaks require preparation and/or materials.

*While each of these games has a physical component they are all focused on specific sets of information.  These games are individually paired to the state objectives they satisfy, based on the set of information they were designed for.


Physical Vocabulary Learning GamesThese games are all focused around learning vocabulary.  Some focus on the spelling aspect of vocabulary, while others facilitate learning definitions of words.  Each of these games has a physical component that will help to ensure a vibrant active classroom.

*Each of these activities corresponds with the following Utah State Core Curriculum Standards for 5th grade Language Arts: Standard 6- Objective 1.a and 1.b

Standard 6:  Vocabulary-Students learn and use grade level vocabulary to increase understanding and read fluently.

Objective 1:  Learn new words through listening and reading widely.

a.  Use new vocabulary learned by listening, reading, and discussing a variety of genres.

b.  Learn the meaning and properly use a variety of grade level words (e.g., words from                                         literature, social studies, science, math).


Just for fun: Physical Brain BreaksThese activities are a combination of get-to-know-you games, and just plain fun physical movement games.  The get-to-know-you games work well at the beginning of a course, or if a new person comes and needs to get to know the students names.  The physical movement games work well anytime the students seem to be in a lull and need to get their energy back up.  These games also work well to bring direction and focus to an overly energetic bunch of kids.

*Each of these activities corresponds with the following Utah State Core Curriculum Standards for Physical Education: Standard 1- Objective 1.b and Standard 2- Objective 2.b

Standard 1:  Students will value physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.

Objective 1:  Emphasize how physical activity provides an opportunity for enjoyment.

c.  Participate in regular physical activity at home, at school, and in the community.

Standard 2: Students will exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.

Objective 2:  Follow rules and procedures while participating in activities.

b.  Describe and follow the rules of various games and activities.


Just for Fun: Brain Breaks that give the body a break too!These activities all serve as fun ways to get your students excited and re-energized, but do not require any physical action.  Most of these activities will not relate to the specific curriculum you are teaching, but still work well in the classroom, either to transition into a new unit, to reward the students, or to re-focus students, and get them re-interested in the course.