Brain break or calm down activities? This is the question I have been asking myself this year after teaching my sweet first graders. I am lucky that we have a mindfulness teacher in the school where I teach. I asked him for some help, and he graciously offered to come sit and observe my students in my class. After observing my class he noticed that I have been using a lot of brain breaks that will leave my students with high energy, which doesn’t really help this group of active first graders maintain focus during the rest of the class period.
This is what he suggested I do:
- Calming Scents: He mentioned to me that this age group is highly affected by their environment. He suggested that having calming scents such as lavender, lemon or peppermint might help.
- Sounds: Playing relaxing music or natural sounds such as rainforest or waterfalls as they enter my classroom might help lower their energy levels.
- Slow movement activities: Play slow music in the room and have them pretend to be different things in nature. Visuals will be handy for this. For example, a cloud, a slow elephant, a bird and so on (and this also gives a fun opportunity to reinforce some vocabulary or teach new words).
- Breathing movements: Encourage movement activities that require students to inhale and exhale while sitting down or walking around the room.
Here are some visuals that might be helpful to have in your room.
Stop by Mundo de Pepita to learn more about creating a calm classroom!
More yoga ideas for your class:
Needing something different than calm down activities? I have tons of active, energizing brain breaks activities on my blog, too: