Children participating in virtual learning can all use a break—a brain break!

Brain breaks are fun activities to help students recharge and stay motivated. They’re also a popular offering at the Access Centers that Parks & Rec is hosting this fall. Our staff have come up with many creative activities to keep kids refreshed and focused.

Two of our recreation leaders, Alice Dignam from Lawncrest Recreation Center and Tammy Harrity from Simpson Recreation Center, shared their favorite ways to help students take a break:

Perimeter walks

Walk around the perimeter of your home or nearby park. This helps get the blood flowing.

Theatre stage name

Play a name game! Use your middle name as a first name and the name of the street you live on as your last name. For example, your middle name is Roberta. Your street name is Winchester. Your new stage name is Roberta Winchester. This is great for giggles for both children and adults. With their ‘new’ name your child can get creative and make a “Stage Name” placard for their desk or work station.

High low game

Choose a special item for someone to hold so that everyone knows it’s that person’s turn to talk. The person with the item says one high point and one low point of their day, then passes the item to the next person.

Name five things

  • Write down different categories on index cards. For example:
    • Shapes, colors, or animals are best for younger students.
    • States, countries, or sports work well for older children.
  • Place the cards in a pile and choose a card.
  • One student at a time names five things in that category.

Splat art

  1. Apply masking tape or stickers onto a clean canvas. Use the masking tape to create a design.
  2. Next, paint the canvas to complete your background color.
  3. Wait approximately 1 hour to dry.
  4. Choose one or more paint colors for highlights. Make sure these are different from your background color.
  5. Take your paint brush, dip it into the highlight colors, and smack or strike the canvas to create a design.
  6. Wait approximately 1 hour to dry.
  7. Peel off your masking tape to see the final creation.

Water balloon pinata

  1. Find a spot to hang a rope, such as a tree branch.
  2. Tie strings of different lengths to water balloons and then tie them to the rope.
  3. Using a stick or bat, hit the balloons one at a time.

Relay race

Create a course using household items, such as furniture, boxes, or toys. For example, a race might be to run around a chair, lift a box three times, toss a ball into a pot, and run back.

Nature scavenger hunt

  1. Make a list of items found in nature, for example: stones, feathers, and leaves.
  2. Assign points for each item.
  3. Find and collect items in a bag or bucket.
  4. Give your child a prize if he or she gets a certain number of points.

Vision board

  1. Collect old magazines or newspapers.
  2. Have children cut out pictures of their hobbies, goals, or accomplishments.
  3. Glue the photos to a poster board or journal book and then decorate with stickers or drawings.
  4. Display the vision board near your child’s virtual learning space, so they can stay inspired.
From self-care and sports to arts and crafts, our staff have created a variety of videos to serve as inspiration.