Most teachers and parents have probably experienced first hand how “antsy” kids can get after sitting at school all day long. It may not be the children’s fault they can’t sit still that long, oftentimes, they are being asked to sit longer than their bodies can handle.
Too much time in sedentary behaviors leads to decreased attention and a loss of focus. On the contrary, research shows that exercise improves brain plasticity, mental performance, and learning. So, help your child overcome the obstacles of sitting too long and incorporate movement into the day with these movement break ideas for the classroom!
Before you get started, remember these things….
1. PLAY FUN MUSIC- Moving around isn’t nearly as much fun without music.
2. BE A MOTIVATOR- How can you expect kids to be moving around if your sitting at your desk? Be active along with the kids
3. SHORT & SWEET- Movement breaks can be short (as little as 4-5 minutes) but should be frequent (3-5 times per day would be ideal)
4. ANY MOVEMENT IS BETTER THAN NO MOVEMENT – It’s okay if the kids aren’t following the moves exactly right, as long as their moving (safely), they will get some benefits of exercise
Movement Break Ideas for the Classroom…..
Line Jumps- (Do 10) Pick a line or place a pencil on the floor and jump over it side- to-side
Jumping Jacks- (Do 10)
Chair Sits (Do 10)- Have child sit down and stand up repeatedly from their chairs
Run in Place (Do for 30 seconds)
Desk Push Ups- (Do 10) Bring shirt to desk and then push back
Popcorn Pops – (Do 10) Grab knees then “pop out” by jumping with arms and legs reaching out
Cross Crawls – (Do 10) Touch elbow to opposite knee 10 times
Windmills – (Do 10) Touch fingers to opposite foot and repeat on other side
Bridge Pose -(Do for 30 Seconds) Put hands and feet on floor then lift hips up…. Optional-Put a pencil on their belly to remind them to keep their hips up
Plank Pose- (Do for 30 Seconds) Get into a push up position with belly off the floor and hips aligned with back and hold. Optional- Put a pencil on their back to remind them to keep their hips and back aligned
Try GoNoodle.com – This is an amazing website with lots of free videos for kids to get them moving. They have Zumba Kids, Indoor Recess videos, Kids Bop videos, Brain-ercise videos, and lots more, all for FREE!
Yoga for Kids- This Yoga for Kids on YouTube offers free yoga videos designed for kids that makes yoga feel less intimidating and more “kid friendly” than typical yoga practices.
Whatever you do to get the kids moving is better than doing nothing at all! So have fun, be creative, and get those kids’ bodies and brains moving! Enjoy!