SPARKLERS / Warm up activities

Brain booster circuit

An energising brain-based experiment for you and your tamariki!
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Why we love it

Even a small amount of exercise will increase the flow of blood (oxygen and glucose) to the brain, boosting alertness.

Combining a difficult task that requires focus and concentration with a physical activity that exercises the brain, helps boost and extend our ability to concentrate.

Learning this skill early and teaching tamariki how to use it to boost their concentration is a great technique for self management. You could use it as a warm up game after lunch, or as a lesson-long activity.

What to do

Clear the room as much as possible, or take the game outside.

Set up:

  • one area for the group to carry out one brain boosting activity; and
  • three or four ‘physical activity’ stations (desks or hula-hoops are great identifiers).

Here are some of our favourite brain boosting activities:

And some cool movement-based ideas:

  • Pictures of yoga poses
  • Skipping ropes or moves
  • Star jumps
  • Push ups or burpees
  • Hula hooping
  • Long rope skipping
  • Hacky sack (if tamariki know this well)
  • 'Everybody up' (two people sitting on the ground facing each other so their toes touch and their heels are on the ground, knees bent and hands grasped, they try to pull themselves up to standing. This can be attempted back to back with arms linked too!

Start by giving your class (or group) five minutes to complete as much as they can of the brain booster activity. Then split into three to four smaller groups, and rotate them around the physical activities, spending up to five minutes on each.

Once the groups have completed each of the physical activities, come back together and give students another chance to do your brain boosting activity, completing as much as they can in five or ten minutes. (It may be important to mention that they won’t always have time to ‘complete’ the activity (e.g. a complicated jigsaw puzzle).

To wrap up, ask tamariki how they found doing the puzzle before and after the physical activities. Did doing the physical activities make the brain booster easier or harder? Did they feel refreshed, tired or the same?

This can be a great chance to explain how we often do better at ‘brain’ tasks when we combine them with some physical activity. Sometimes it wakes us up, sometimes it helps us to focus, sometimes it just gets the blood and ideas flowing!

What now?

We’d love to see some photos of your brain booster circuits in action! Email them to us, and we might even be able to share them on our Facebook page and website.

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