Back to school this fall may look different for your household then last year. You may be starting the year with distance learning. Whatever your feelings about distance learning is make sure you make the best of it with your kiddos. In these hectic days don’t just go from course to course, math to writing, typing to filling out a packet stop and let your kids take breaks. Daily breaks at home during the school day are necessary for a healthy body and a mood.
Brain Break: In the classroom we often stop and take short 2-3 minute breaks throughout the day, to stretch and move the young bodies so they are crossing their mid-lines (opposite arm and leg) to build brain connections as well as getting wiggles out! I liked to use the site https://www.gonoodle.com/ because it has fun dancing and movement that connect to learning. But sometimes you need to step away from the laptop so fun breaks include playing eye spy, going on a 5 item treasure hunt, going on a room by room field trip, coloring, hopping a trail around the table, and this silly movement activity: touching right hand to the left foot, left hand to right foot, clapping, stamping,twirling,sitting,standing, hopping in a sequence 5 times in a row in various speeds. Counting fallen leaves, steps in the snow or butterflies in the garden. Or simply rip out a piece of notebook paper ball it up and through it in a trash can until it makes it (this is good for fine motor and focus).
Recess: 2 recess breaks everyday. 10-15 minutes of unstructured play in a safe area. A fenced front or back yard with supervision will allow for running, jumping, hopscotch, basketball, stretching and enjoying the sun. Imagination runs wild during recess and it should be no different at home. Sidewalk chalk drawings, painting with water, outside toys, even reading under a tree.
PE or Physical Education is a 20 minute a day activity or 40 minutes every other day. Keep up the schedule so your kids can have a healthy body and it helps with mood. Physical activity can help change an upset or depressed mood or aid in getting the blood flowing to finally break through on a tough math problem or to get passed writer’s block. Movement is great for mind and body so get set you child up for a fun activity. You can play basketball together, toss a ball, jumping jacks, dashes, running, bicycle riding, skipping, jumping, going for walks, push ups, stretching, yoga, challenges, family hiking, family swimming (always keep a close watch), balloon race/egg on a spoon race, timed race, use your video game console and workout with the Just Dance game. Bouncing ball switching between hands, throwing a small ball in an empty trash can, soccer drills…or many more activities.
Whatever you do make a plan for movement and brain breaks throughout your child’s distance learning day. Make a list of things for the week so you and your child know what to do and when. These can be great and easy ways to make the distance learning day better and more “normal” than just sitting in front of a laptop or packet and just getting through it until dinner. Let’s make these days fun, and it gives you time to breath or work or take your own brain break.
Have a great Fall 2020!!!