Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Brain Breaks!

Clip art from Teaching 4 Real
It's not only the happiest time of year, it is also the most restless for many students. Keep your students focused till the very last minute with these fun Christmas Brain Breaks!

Reindeer Names
Students stand. Each student decides which of Santa's reindeer he or she will be (you may want to write the eight names on the board). Students then mill around the room quietly saying their reindeer names. When a student meets another student with the same name, they link arms and continue to search for more reindeer with the same name (now saying their reindeer name in unison). Continue until all reindeer are grouped. End the game by calling the reindeer names in order and having the students in each group sit down as you do.

Tip: Don't use Rudolph - too many of the kids will choose him. Also students should not be talking except to say their reindeer names.

Jingle Jump
Sing "Jingle Bells" and have students jump every time the sing the word, jingle. Tire them out by having them jog in place during the verses.

Snow Ball Fight
Each student gets a piece of paper from the recycle bin and balls it into a "snowball." Allow students to have a snowball fight for about 20 seconds. Students each must return one snowball to the recycle bin before sitting down.

Variation: have students write one thing they love about the holidays on their papers before balling them up. After the snowball fight, each student must pick up a snowball, unball it, and find the person who is originally belonged to.

Presents Under the Tree
Students mill around the classroom until the teacher calls out, "3 presents under the tree!" Student must then quickly get into groups of 4 with one student standing straight up with hand together over his head (like a tree) and the other 3 students crouching around him like presents. Play several rounds and change the number of presents for each round. You may also want to make a rule that you cannot be the tree twice in a row. For the last round, it is fun to have all of your students be presents (and interesting to see which student gets to be the tree).

Christmas Would You Rather
Students stand. Teacher asks a Christmas Would You Rather Question (you can find 20 free ones here). Students indicate their choice by moving to one end of the room or the other.

Santa Says
Same game, different name!

Best Present Ever!
Have students pantomime wrapping a present. Then have each student trade his or her "present" with a partner. Partners then pantomime opening the gifts and responding as if it was exactly what they wanted: the best present ever!

Variation: Before wrapping the gift, have each student think of what the gift actually is. Students should really think about what their partners would want. When opening the present, students should also have something in mind. At the end, partners can share what they gave and what they pretended to get.

Christmas Pretend
Students pretend to be each of these things for about 10 seconds each:

  • A snowflake falling from the sky
  • An elf making a toy
  • A prancing reindeer
  • A person decorating a Christmas tree
  • A melting snowman

Christmas Carol Dance Party
Play lively Christmas music and have a short dance party. Make it a freeze dance by turning off the music at random intervals

You can get 60 more Brain Breaks to use all year long right here!

If you try some of these with your students, please come back and tell us how it went!

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