Owl Brain Breaks


The question is not, who could use an owl brain break right now, but who couldn’t use a break!  

Think back to a time when your brain wasn’t overloaded.  When there weren’t 27 items on the to do list.  Hard to remember, right?  Now imagine the impact that kind of list has on a young learner.  Children are overloaded with tasks, and could use a brain break.

The trouble is….. They do not know how to take a break.  They are so used to going and going at lightning speed, they have forgotten how to relax for a moment.  These Owl Brain Break cards are a great solution to reminding learners how and when to take a break.


This set of Owl Brain Breaks are reproducible cards are a great way to get students learning, or re-learning how to take a break. 

Brain breaks essentially give the brain a chance to regroup before moving onto the next task, or finishing a difficult challenge.  These breaks use body movements to organize the central nervous system.  

Needing a break is not the same for everyone. Learners need a break to:

  • Calm their brain from stress and anxiety
  • Give their brain a chance to get organized
  • Get much needed input to increase their arousal level to keep them going
  • Release energy and get their wiggles out
  • Create a momentary distraction so the brain and emotions can reset

Ways to use these Owl Brain Break cards:

  • Learners can color their own cards and personalize them.  Use the coloring activity as a brain break for those who relax while coloring.  This is not relaxing for everyone, so this might need to be an additional activity
  • Adults can color and personalize sets of cards to be used by learners. This may be helpful for learners who might be triggered by their own feelings of inadequate coloring skills
  • Laminate the cards and put on a key ring for easy access and reusability
  • Velcro the back of the cards and make a choice board with them
  • Stick the cards onto the learner’s desk as a reminder of a break, rotating the cards to offer different types of input
  • Shuffle the cards and place them face down. Learners can randomly select a card to use. This adds a fun element and makes the task feel less forced
  • Put the cards onto a spinning wheel. Learners spin the wheel to reveal which break they are taking
  • Enlarge the cards and stick them onto the wall as a prompt for the group
  • Take photos of the card and add them to an ACC communication device

Brain breaks are intended to be short breaks to help the brain/body get recharged or reorganized.  Longer breaks may cause chaos, dysregulation, or inability to get refocused.  Use longer breaks during recess when your learners have time to get disorganized, then calmed before the end.