Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10-Second Brain Breaks

Kids wriggle, fidget, and focus on whatever.   That's just what kids do. 
Here are some quick brain breaks you can do at any time to calm kids' bodies and minds:

1)  Breathe deeply.  Put your hands on your waist.  Let all the air out like a balloon.  Hold breathe in slowly and quietly, fill the bottom (see your hands expand), now fill the top (see your chest expand), hold it...then breathe out.

2)  Eye exercise.  Hold up your thumb.  Look at your thumb, now look at me.  Thumb, me...thumb me...thumb, hands down, squeeze your eyes gently shut...and focus here...

3)  Best stretch ever.  Clasp hands low, behind your back.  Lean forward and stretch down, hold.  Let go.   Breathe and focus.

4)  Palming.  Cup your hands and place the palms gently over your eyes.  Count down 5-4-3-2-1.  Try one eye first, then both.

5)  Shoulder roll.  Shoulders up, back, down...up, back down...back, up, forward hunch...back, up, forward hunch...breathe and focus.

6)  Sniff and Pant.  Sniff 3 times, pant (say a non-vocal "ha") 3 times.  Repeat 3X, and end with one big, breathy sigh and a big up-and-down shrug of your shoulders. 

7)  Twist and count.  Twist both wrists to a count of ten, then fold your hands in your lap.  Twist both hands together or alternate left and right.

8)  Thumbs up.  Thumbs down.  Thumbs out.   Thumbs in.  Twiddle your thumbs around and around.  "Clap" your thumbs.  Thumbs bow down and up.  Fold your hands.  Great show! 

9)  Silent mirth.  Open your mouth wide and laugh hard, but silently!   Count on your fingers up to ten.  End with a big smile and your finger on your lips. 

10)  Say 10 character traits.  Kids show what the trait looks like, but using their faces only.  Suggestions: happy, sad, mad, scared, excited, lazy, silly, kind, fierce, and proud...

If you do it, kids will imitate--they're hard-wired to.  And they actually love to relax, if you show them how. 

If you'd like to print out the eye exercise poster, it's here and it's free.

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