Nurturing Futures

Give them a break!

Fun, creative and educational brain break ideas for your kids.

Attention, attention, mom and dad! It’s time to embrace the true reality and fact that your kid’s attention span doesn’t last as long as you, their teachers, coaches and tutors would like it to last. In fact, you’re looking at an attention span of 40 to 58 minutes at best, depending on their age. The younger they are, the shorter their attention span. Now this is information is actually a good thing. It gives you and their teachers a clear indication that it’s often necessary for a break. And who doesn’t deserve some time off once in a while – or basically every hour in this case. Brain breaks, or simply breaktime, is very beneficial for your kids. It helps stabilise their emotions, calm any anxieties and most importantly, helps them refocus their attention. Sometimes, your kids want to spend their break playing their favourite game, or watch a few minutes of their favourite cartoon, or maybe they want to enjoy a snack with a cup of NESTLÉ® NESPRAY® FortiGrow™ – and all of it is perfectly okay. What if you as the parent want to make breaktime more beneficial for your kids? Well, we have some ideas that are perfect for any kind of break. 

Get them moving:
•    Take a walk around the block and say hi to the neighbours.
•    Do some stretches in the backyard.
•    Play a quick round of soccer.
•    Do some jumping jacks.
•    Have a little party right where you are and dance the break away.
•    Play with a hula hoop.
•    Ride a bicycle.
•    Play musical chairs.

Rest the mind
•    Practise mindful breathing. Inhale for 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Exhale for 7 seconds. 
•    Take a silent walk around the house, yard or block. Shh, no one say a word for at least 10 minutes.
•    Have your kids count 5 things they can see, 5 things they can hear, 5 things they can touch, 5 things they can smell and 5 things they can taste that are around them in that moment.
•    Nap time! Encourage your kids to take a quick nap. 
•    Curate a calming music playlist. 

Get creative
•    Do small canvas painting.
•    Make use of colouring books. A great way to encourage your kids to get colouring is to offer a reward for every page done during the break. 
•    How about some creative writing? A short story, an essay, a letter, a poem or anything your kids want to express in words – this is the time to encourage them. 
•    Create a quick scavenger hunt for your kids.
•    Make a fun lunch or fun snacks that involve them in the preparation.

Think for fun
•    Build puzzles.
•    Read a book (of their choice).
•    Play crossword puzzles 
•    Create a secrete handshake together.
•    Make up riddles.
•    Practise (or learn how) to juggle.
•    Have a quick game of charades.
•    Plan a game of chess but for 20 minutes max.
•    Create a brain breaktime jar and fill it with breaktime ideas.
•    Debate or discuss their favourite topics.
•    Practise a round of general knowledge questions and answers.

Now that you have a few breaktime ideas for your kids, here are some considerations for you as the parent when it comes to maximising those few minutes:
•    Timing is everything. Incorporate the break into your kid’s schedule so they would look forward to their breaks. There are many creative ways to do this. For example, they can go on break after getting a certain number of questions correct.
•    Listen to your kids when they tell you they need a break and listen to their bodies when they show you a break is needed. 
•    Encourage your kids to take the break, even if they don’t feel the need for it.
•    Make a list of activities to suggest before their break.
•    Use a specific time and make sure that every second is well spent doing something they enjoy. 
•    Get involved. As the parent, this is a great time for you take a break too. 
•    Don’t confuse breaktime with playtime.
•    A break is a great time for a snack and a cup of NESTLÉ® NESPRAY® FortiGrow™. 

Brain breaks, or breaktime, can be a powerful tool in building your kid’s interest in doing their homework or learning in the classroom. Helping your kids self-regulate, while reducing any frustration they might have, is what it’s all about. Remember that your kids are all unique and each one’s brain works very differently from another, since they have different needs. So it’s important to involve your kids in structuring their breaks, so that they have and take them when they need to – not when they are instructed to. Have any tips, ideas or comments? Follow us on our social media platforms and share them with us.