Brain Breaks

By: Logan Bishop

School at any age, but especially during childhood, can begin to feel structured, repetitive, and long. How can we break up the monotony of school routines to help students feel energized and refocused? With BRAIN BREAKS of course! Brain breaks in school can take place during scheduled periods like science or math, or during class between lessons. Brain breaks can help students of all ages ease stress, regain focus, and boost productivity.

Here are some examples:

Physical Activity:


Stretching is not just something you do after you exercise. Creating a break in your day to stretch after sitting in class allows your muscles to relax, resetting your body to be prepared for the rest of the class.


Dancing is a great way to get kids moving during the day. You can put music on that has specific dances, such as the “Cupid Shuffle”, to get the whole class engaged and moving!

Shake It Out

Sometimes all kids need is to stand up and shake their whole body. Shaking out your body is a fun way to get any stress that has built up from sitting in the classroom. All you need is a few seconds to stand up and shake it out!

Mental Activities:

Breathing Exercises

Setting aside even just a few minutes a day to focus on breathing is a great way to allow your body and mind to reset. Some breathing exercises you can do in class are the 4-4-4-4 breathing technique. Breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, breathing out for 4 seconds, and repeating it 4 times.


Writing out your thoughts is a fantastic way to help clear your mind while trying to focus during school. A fun way to do this is to give the kids a prompt to write, such as “What is your favorite food and why?”


Sometimes in school, you find yourself doodling on a page of notes. Why not set aside time during the day to let your brain relax and draw whatever comes to mind? Just like journaling, you can set a prompt for the drawing to give the kids a starting place, such as “Draw your favorite animal!”

Rock, Paper, Scissor Tournament

For just a quick 5 min break, have everyone stand up and participate in a rock/paper/scissors tournament. When someone gets out, they will then act as a fan for another person cheering them on until the tournament is over. This is also a great way to get students to interact with one another and socialize.

The Health Challenge: Encouraging kids to choose healthy living!

By: Kem Nwadei

Kids begin learning healthy behaviors at an early age. As they grow older, they continue picking up different health habits from home, school, and their friends. By promoting healthy living in schools, we can encourage kids to make positive health choices.

One way to keep kids motivated and interested in learning healthy behaviors is by using the reward system. In a Health Challenge, kids will learn about healthy behaviors, complete healthy living tasks, and earn points until they have reached their goal. Each healthy living task that kids complete will be worth 2 points. Once they have earned 10 points, kids will be able to cash them in for a reward of your choosing (ideas listed below).

As the kids accomplish tasks and earn points, it will boost their feelings of self-accomplishment and show the kids that there is a benefit to making healthy choices. Overall, introducing the Health Challenge will give them autonomy and encourage them to engage in healthy behaviors in a fun way!

Here is a list of supplies to get your Health Challenge started today:

  • Create a flyer that highlights different health behaviors (can use or other free online application)
    • Possible health behavior topics:
      • Physical activity
      • Nutrition
      • Sleep
  • Print off the Health Challenge list shown below
  • Print off the Habit Tracker Chart found below

Potential HEALTH CHALLENGE LIST for the importance of Physical Activity

Potential HEALTH CHALLENGE LIST for the importance of Nutrition

Potential HEALTH CHALLENGE LIST for the importance of Sleep

Habit Tracker Chart


Fisher, M. C., Villegas, E., Sutter, C., Musaad, S. M., Koester, B., & Fiese, B. H. (2019). Sprouts Growing Healthy Habits: Curriculum Development and Pilot Study. Frontiers in public health7, 65.

Healthy After School Recipe: Ants on a Log!

By: Carolina Rodriguez

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the benefits of healthy eating for children include supporting brain development, healthy growth, and helping to boosting immunity. A snack that contains both veggies and protein, like ants on a log, is a great combination for kids coming home from school as its packed with fats, protein, and fiber. This recipe is nutritious and encourages kids to eat healthfully by making it fun! Ants on a log are simple to make and have multiple variations for kids who are picky eaters or have allergies. The recipe calls for celery as your “log”, but some alternatives include using different fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, cucumbers, etc. Peanut butter makes a great filling, however some alternatives to peanut butter include hazelnut and almond butters. For kids with nut allergies, you can use alternatives such as cream cheese or Greek yogurt. As for your “ants” you can use any form of dried or fresh fruits, granola, crackers, and more.