Using movement break ideas to give kids more exercise is a great idea. As an occupational therapist, it’s the first tactic I try when it works for my patients. Movement breaks need to be simple and take little or no set up. If you set them up in a gym, the class will get too busy and the exercises won’t be very practical. Setting the equipment up requires at least two adults and a couple of kids. In a health care setting, most everyone can participate.
Many movement break ideas come from fun sensory activities. Some providers use music, yoga or dance to create a fun, entertaining break. There are even some providers who combine yoga with an occupational therapy class. No matter what sensory activities you choose, remember that they should be fun for the kids and free of fussy, fidgeting, or trying to escape from anyone.
All movement break ideas should encourage and teach kids how to engage and follow directions. The goal of occupational or physical therapy is to improve movement and the health of the patient. If a class is just sitting and doing activities, nothing is happening. Activities build interest and help kids practice being organized. This will pay off throughout the school day.
When planning your next activity, make sure to include movement break ideas that will incorporate kids’ interests. Parents of young kids may think about incorporating some traditional classroom learning into their sessions. One of the movement break ideas parents commonly use is online learning. Research shows that this is one of the best ways for kids to learn and improve their problem solving skills. Online learning uses technology to combine classroom techniques with real-life situations.
Parents and therapists have identified that movement is beneficial for improving concentration and memory. A brain exercise called the Cross Crawls is often used in movement break ideas. This particular activity tests a person’s cognitive processes by having them scan and match colors from a grid of red, blue, and green squares.
Another great way to exercise the brain and use movement break ideas to exercise the mind is called the Moving Box. The object is to keep a moving box in front of a person at all times and attempt to keep it from falling down or getting stuck. A parent will place their child in the front of a room and move the box as much as they can. As they progress, the child will be asked to repeat after them or repeat back to themselves.
Physical therapy students are taught alternative behaviors during group therapy sessions. Some of these behaviors include physical movement breaks, listening to music, and quiet time. Learning these behaviors in class will help the student perform better when they return to the classroom for the final practice session.
The last of the movement break ideas teaches kids how to relax during a physical activity. In order to do so, they must first become comfortable being in a certain place. Then the individual must learn to breathe deeply and stretch out their muscles. This exercise is called yoga. Kids can do this at home while watching television or listening to music. As a parent, the teacher will likely have the child perform a few poses several times to get the full benefits.
Movement is an important part of growing up. However, many movement break ideas focus on getting the whole class moving. This is helpful because the entire class will be moving together instead of trying to do too much all at once. By teaching the whole class how to get through a certain amount of time, the student gets the most benefit. This helps to ensure that all in the class have the same amount of energy, which makes them more effective in their lessons.
Jumping jacks and other physical activities provide wonderful opportunities to motivate students into the classroom. These are an excellent opportunity to teach students how to get in shape, but it’s also important that physical activity breaks don’t become boring. Some teachers will have the students perform a series of jumping jacks or other physical activity for 10 minutes. After this, the teacher may require them to either sit down or leave the class.
The last of the three key movement break ideas is fun. Having fun during the school year will make learning more effective. While boredom can occur, having fun movement breaks during the year will keep students interested in their lessons. This will help them retain what they’ve learned throughout the year. All of these ideas will build a stronger classroom and a better school year.