Classroom, Elementary, Fun Stuff, school

13 Awesome Ideas for Class Body Breaks

Not only do kids need body breaks, so do we! I find the best way to get kids really invested in moving (especially when they start thinking they’re too cool for awesome stuff like exercise) is to make it fun.

I also always participate myself; if you don’t, it makes it seem like only kids should be having body breaks, which obviously isn’t true. It’s always fun to get a little bit silly and shake your booty at the same time. I always say we teachers have the best job in the world, this is proof!

Here are some great ideas for incorporating body breaks in your classroom.

Use Dice

Who doesn’t love dice? I guess people who hate chance? Using dice is super fun for body breaks and there’s different ways you can incorporate them.

For exaple, one idea is that you can create your own body break dice which have possible activities on them. I like to have one die with actions and another with numbers. So, students roll both and have to do something like six burpees, four jumping jacks, or five sit ups.

An easier option is to write on the board six (or more, depending on the die/dice you use) different actions. You can do this with the kids to get them involved.

For example, you will assign number one with spin around, two with push ups, and so on. Then, you or a student will roll a dice (or put a digital one up on the projector) and let fate work its magic!

Play If/Then

I love playing this one with kiddos. The littles especially love it and ask to play even while they do desk work, which brings me so much joy.

You can play this with your imagination/off the top of your head, or make a slideshow/flash cards for it.

While your students listen, you’ll call out an if (for exmple, “if you have a brother”) and follow with a then (such as, “then spin three times”). The kids get really into it and it also improves their listening skills. Plus, they get really into the if questions, looing around to see who likes pizza, who is an only child, who has brown hair, and so on.

Definitely make sure you play this one with your students, they love to see your answers to questions, and they definitely get a kick of seeing their teacher do silly things like pretend to be an octopus.

Let kids choose

Letting kids choose is an awesome choice for when you ahven’t really thought of anything. Plus, they enjoy it!

You can either pull or call names randomly, or let students volunteer to give instructions.

I always tell the students to give a number and then an activity. I also remind them that they have to participate as well, which deters them from yelling out things like “200 burpees”.

You can even choose one or two keeners to lead the whole class in a work out or stretch. I love seeing what the kids come up with (and, of course, participating myself as well).

Play trivia

This is really fun to do when you also want to hold your kids accountable for the curriculum they’re working on.

I’ll either make a slideshow or just call out questions based on what we’ve been learning. For example, a quick math question like 74-7 or “which there/they’re/their is used in the sentence…”

The students have to “buzz” in and the student who gets the question correct the quickest gets to decide what activity the class will do.

Again, with this I always remind students that they have to participate in the activity themselves as well.

Another note: I would be careful not to do this activity in some classes or groupings. Some students may feel bad about themselves and check out if they aren’t fast at answering. Of course, you know your students best and can make the call.

Use a ball

This is a fun way to get kids moving around and playing with one another.

First, take a ball such as a beach ball or a soccer ball and write different activities on it. Then, I always start myself. I read an activity off, and we all participate. Then, I pass the ball to a student.

Students read off an activity we all do, then pass to another student who reads off the next activity.

I like this because all the kids stay on their toes knowing that the ball could be passed to them next.

Add a move

Of course, the classice game of adding on a move for everyone to do is a great body break activity.

I always start this myself, doing something simple like a butt wiggle or a single squat. Then, the next person has to do my first move and add onto it. The third person does those first two moves and adds their own, and so on and so forth.

This is really fun and gets silly fast. Just make sure you remind your kids to stick with simple additions and to keep it clean. We don’t need any Zoolander-style underwear-out-of-the-pants moves on our hands.

Do chair yoga

Okay, this may seem a little bit boring, but chair yoga is great if you don’t have a lot of space on hand.

Have your students stretch arms in the air, use their seats and arms to lift bums, stretch their necks, and so on. If you’ve git a bit more room, have them stand up next to their desks to do some bigger stretches and get into their legs as well.

This is simple, but even the most minor of stretches is a nice way to move the body and give brains a break as well!

Use a choice board

Have students who always want breaks, but not one can agree on what to do? A body break choice board is a great idea.

I especially like these for when you’re allowing kids to take breaks during work time. Have them choose somehting from the choice board, then return to work.

Ideas could include things like taking a walk around the hall, doing push ups, skipping rope, and so on.

This keeps kids from getting bored or complaining about breaks they don’t want to participate in. Pro-tip: make sure you have time or number limits on these activities so that kiddos son’t waste their time body-breaking instead of working.

have classroom circuits

If you often have body breaks in your class, it can be worth your time to set up circuits.

Obviously, these shouldn’t take up a huge amount of space; you have other things to do in theat space, too! Easy instructions up on the wall work for a lot of different activities you could include.

I will often do this in the mornings before class starts, we’ll split into a few different groups and then rotate circuits every five minutes or so, until everyone has completed them. It’s a great way to have kids get moving before class.

Make sure these are really easy to set up and require little to no equipment, since it will be stored in your class.

Activities like push ups, burpees, jumping jack, and so on are great because they require no equipment. Things like resistance bands and skipping ropes are great because they need hardly any storage space.

Switch up the circuits every few weeks to keep things fresh!

play true or false

I love playing true or false using curriculum we’ve been learning. This is a really fun way to get kids engaged and moving.

Assign one activity for true and another for false, write them up on the board so everyone can see.

Ask a question, such as “dogs are mammals” and the students “answer” this as a group by completing the activity.

So for example, if true is jumping jacks and false is spinning, if you ask the students “two plus two is seven”, they’ll spin. I mean, hopefully they’ll spin, if not you may need to re-do a lesson or two.

play either/or

Similar to true or false, either or is a fun way to keep students engaged and moving.

You can either call out different activities for each option, or keep them standard for each call out.

So, you can call out soemthing new each time, such as “if you prefer pineapple jump up and down, if you prefer bananas, spin around.”

Or, you can write out the options on the board, I usually assign a one and a two. So one could be jumping jacks and two could be sit ups. Then, you can call out “pineapple is one, bananas are two” or something of the like.

imitate animals

I think I may have more fun than my students when I do this one. It’s easy-peasy and so hilarious.

All you need to do is call out an animal and then the whole class (and you, of course, that’s the best part!) imitates that animal.

Some of my personal favourites include octopus, elephant, monkey, and rabbit.

Dance it out

Last but not least, dancing is always a great idea for a body break!

Simply throw on a Just Dance video from YouTube and attempt to follow along, or you can whip on some music and just go wild.

I enjoy allowing the kids to choose the music because then they’re a little more engaged. Also, I learn about new songs and artists I’ve never known of. They got bored of listening to my taste a lot quicker than I do (what, no BSB today, kids?!).

I also like to pause the music and have the kids freeze – it’s a classic which always hold up!

So, what do you think? Is there anything else you like to do in your classroom to get kids moving? Let me know in the comments!

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