Brain Breaks - Concept, Science And Benefits
As the name suggests, Brain breaks are the minute-duration of taking-off the mind from the current activity and giving a break to our brain.
During long hours of study or too much play, children become disoriented and lose interest. Handling these inquisitive minds might get overwhelming at times. That's when the Brain break concept comes into play. Brain breaks reset their energy & mental status, make them productive or just calm them down enough to listen to you.
Introduction To Brain Breaks
Our brain is a phenomenal creation. Did you know that various parts of our brain get stimulated by different actions that work as stimulants for that particular part of the brain?
While sleep renders the natural rest to the brain, it also needs power naps (breaks) during the hours that we are awake. These power naps or brain breaks rejuvenate and encourage the brain to perform to the best of its ability.
The breaks/diversions are called Brain Breaks.
How often have we adults experienced that non-stop working hours without a break seriously abbreviates the attention and output that our brain is capable of delivering? The children also need mental breaks while studying at school/home, preparing for examinations or competitions, completing homework, playing, sporting etc. The brain breaks enable them to reinstate their attention to their current tasks.
Science Behind Brain Breaks
Our brain works through neurotransmitters that communicate different signals from one cell to another as per the activity in a set route. So when the children over-do anything, the neurotransmitters get tired (Chemically). They respond slow, carry fewer/no signals and render the brain less-capable of grasping new information than it generally does.
(1) During the Brain breaks, the neurotransmitter signals change the route, and send them to another part of the brain (the part stimulated by the brain break) than the one currently in use.
(2) This tiny break in neural transmission helps to start afresh with the original activity.
(3) Brain breaks provide intermittent ease to the brain to adapt and secure the learning they have received while performing the original activity.
(4) Hippocampus is the epicentre of the brain, a part dedicated to learning and memory. The Brain Break increases blood circulation and oxygen to the brain. Brain breaks stimulate cell growth and neural stimuli in Hippocampus, boosting its performance.
The Brain breaks need not interrupt the flow of the learning schedule or any subject class. It requires a maximum of two to four minutes of short intelligent brain break to help the students refocus and recharge to continue with what they were doing.
Benefits of Brain Breaks
Brain breaks are highly essential to optimise the learning, playing and overall performance of children of all age groups. Strategically designed brain breaks help the children to reset, relax, regain focus on their current activities.
(1) Brain breaks work great when the children are hyperactive, and you need something interesting to settle their bubbling energy coffers.
(2) They improve behaviour patterns and reception of instructions.
(3) Physical Brain Breaks help to keep a check on the sedentary lifestyle with additional mental health benefits.
(4) Increase efficiency and overall performance in all activities.
(5) Increases their learning capacity along with better retaining of already learned information.
(6) Reduces stress and frustration due to the monotony.
(7) Exercise breaks are good for health, cognitive development and educational success.
(8) Unplanned playtime or physical breaks give an opening to nudge the hidden creativity and imagination in children.
(9) Help to convert the incessable energy into something constructive and beneficial.
(10) Brain breaks help in axiety control and mood enhancement.
The concept of Brain Breaks has been incorporated by many teachers since the time when we (parents) were students. Remember how we all loved the teacher who gave intermittent breaks during the classes or did an exciting activity with us? We looked forward to those periods and listened with more concentration.
Therefore, with the inherent requirements of the competition, curriculum, and academic performance in current times, the inclusion of brain breaks has become more significant.
There is no rule-book for brain break activities and how you can include them. It only needs observation and technique as per the activity, subject, time and classroom/home setup.
Read our blog "Best and Easy Brain breaks Activities for Kids" for different ways to incorporate them into the student academic cycle.
It is our collective responsibility to help our little curious minds to discover their best potential. Brain breaks are one of the methods that will help in the said vision.
Love this blog? Share it with other parents.