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Brain breaks for children and adults

By | Gary Wallace |

Do you find your children losing concentration easily on a task like homework or being unable to focus?

Maybe you find the same thing happening to you at work… Then a brain break may be your answer.

A brain break is just what it sounds like – a break from whatever you or your child is focusing on. Short brain breaks during work time have been shown to have real benefits. They reduce stress and frustration and increase attention and productivity.

Brain breaks for kids

Most children have a short attention span and they need to move their bodies in order to be able to stay focused and to learn. A good thing to remember is that a nerve in the inner ear, called the vestibular nerve, serves to tell the body how upright and present to be in direct response to movement. The only way to activate the vestibular nerve so that it can do its job is to move.

Normally, a small amount of movement, like a quick stretch and turn of the head, will make the nerve fire and talk to the muscles. When children are fidgeting and finding it difficult to stay still, they are unconsciously attempting to activate that nerve in the inner ear to improve their ability to sit up and focus.

The key thing about movement breaks is to add them in before the children get fatigued or lose focus. For adults we can stretch this out, after a lot of practice, to 60-90 minute blocks. For primary school children they may only be able to truly focus for 10-15 minutes and 20-30 minutes for secondary school children.

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