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These Heartwarming Illustrations Of A Father And His Young Daughter Might Remind You Of Something

These Heartwarming Illustrations Of A Father And His Young Daughter Might Remind You Of Something

The relationship between father and child is one of the most important bonds of your lifetime. The way we interact and the love we have with our fathers is invaluable and second to none. These beautiful illustrations by Soosh remind us of the power and importance of this relationship, and the beauty of fatherly love. We dare you not to call your dad after reading and remembering the points below!

Dads are our heroes. They are always there to protect us, especially when we aren’t looking.

Dad 1

    Dads support our dreams from the very beginning.

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    Dad 2

      When we are with our dads, we feel a thousand feet tall. We believe in ourselves because they believe in us too, no matter what.

      Dad 3

        Dads always make us feel safe and warm, like we always have someone to lean on.

        dad 4

          No matter how big we grow, our dads will always seem larger than life.

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          Dad 5

            No matter how big their workload, dads always make time for us, even if it’s just for a quick cup of tea.

            Dad 6

              When I’m spending time with dad, there is no one else in the world.

              Dad 7

                Dad has many important jobs and I never want him to leave. But he always lets me know that his most important job is me.

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                Dad 8

                  Dads teach us about patience, values, and virtues when we spend time together.

                  Dad 9

                    Dads teach us to create beauty when we are in the darkness.

                    Dad 10

                      When dad is around, I can be anything I want to be!

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                      Dad 11

                        Dads are always on board with the things we want to do in life…

                        Dad 12

                          And they always have a go at enjoying the things that we enjoy.

                          Dad 13

                            When all is said and done, our dads are our protectors, our teachers, our providers, and our very best friends.

                            Dad 14

                              All illustrations by Snezhana Soosh.

                              Featured photo credit: Snezhana Soosh via mymodernmet.com

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                              Published on May 7, 2021

                              20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

                              20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

                              From coaching martial arts to children as young as four years old, I very quickly came to the understanding that if I wanted to help kids progress their skills, I needed to find a way to help them focus more consistently in my class.

                              There are two key ways I found when it came to improving my students’ level of focus:

                              1. Make what we’re doing more interesting. Nothing is off the table here—from having ninja clowns on the rampage in a lesson to including popular games with a martial arts theme, tapping into the student’s love of fun to help them focus.
                              2. Introduce brain breaks.

                              Brain breaks are small mental breaks that help the kids stay more focused. Think of the brain as a fuel gauge that shows the information you can consciously hold in your mind at any given moment. When the kids are focused and working hard on their tasks, the meter is usually full. They can easily concentrate and pass experiences into their long-term memory.

                              But when the needle starts to drop, you may observe that your kids are feeling anxious or looking restless. New information, experiences, and knowledge are not getting processed from the staging area or working memory into the long-term memory.[1]

                              It’s here that brain breaks make the most difference, as they allow us to “top-up the tank” or reset the gauge so that we can continue to learn and focus and at a higher level.

                              If you’ve been home tutoring, you’ll appreciate that brain breaks can help kids in many ways. They can reduce stress and frustration. Think of those times when you’re helping your kids solve a difficult problem. It’s taxing for you both and when compounded with the energy loss after a day at school or watching TV. The stress effect can be compounded, and it’s here that brain breaks can be a lifesaver.[2]

                              The following is a selection of brain break ideas for kids. You’ll see that some are physical activities while others are more relaxing. It’s always great to test them out to see which ones connect the best with your children.

                              It’s okay to repeat the same brain breaks. Having a clear name and mission to a break can help keep your child excited, knowing that they’ll have the opportunity to take part in a future round of the activity.

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                              Active Brain Breaks

                              Here are some active brain breaks for kids that you can try out.

                              1. Swapsies

                              Have the participants stand behind a chair. Call out a character trait, like “everyone with brown eyes.” You then swap places with someone else who has the same characteristic. If you have nothing that matches, you stay put!

                              Examples: “Everyone with trainers on.” “Everyone who is left-handed.” “Everyone who is wearing yellow.”

                              2. Dance Party

                              Put five or six different types of songs on Spotify, including a classic like “baby shark or the hamster dance.” Dim the lights if possible and have the kids dance to the tunes. Then, change the tunes and change the dance style. It’s silly and fun.

                              3. Freeze Dance

                              Similar to Dance Party except that when the music stops, students have to stay perfectly still until the music restarts. You can make this even more fun by trying to make the students smile. If they smile, they are out and have to sit down.

                              4. Keep It Up

                              Students must keep a balloon from touching the floor. You can add multiple balloons. You can make it more competitive by having different balloons of two different colors and split people into teams. Whoever keeps the balloons up the longest or the team with the most balloons in the air with a timer of 60 seconds wins.

                              5. Simon Says

                              This brain break for kids is an old favorite. You can also mix it up with martial arts moves, Fortnite dances, superhero moves, etc.

                              6. Animal Movement

                              Move like different animals. It’s fun for younger children. We use Flamingo where you stand on one leg, crawl like a bear, stand like a meerkat, run like a cheetah, and walk like a penguin.

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                              7. Find It Fast

                              “Find It Fast” is a scavenger hunt variation. Call an item out in the room and kids have to stand by it. For example, find a clock, find something with a face, find something smelly, find some money, find a phone, etc.

                              8. The Frog

                              Physical Challenges can be excellent fun. We have one in the martial arts class called “The Frog” where you squat like a frog, then lean forward so your head and feet are off the floor. These are all old yoga poses, so have a look through a booklet or website for some safe ideas. Other examples are grabbing your nose with your left hand and touching your knee with your right elbow.

                              9. Pizza Delivery Time

                              Give the students paper plates and tell them to hold the plates above their head on a flat hand. They then run around the room and try to keep the plate in their hand. You can make it more challenging by having other students try to knock others’ plates off. There’s usually a 3-star jump penalty if your plate touches the floor.

                              10. Limbo

                              We use martial arts belts and the students take turns going underneath the belts. Fun music creates an awesome atmosphere here.

                              11. Human Knot

                              Split the group of people and have everyone link hands under and over. That’s making knots between everyone in the group. Have the other students try to untangle them and return everyone back into a circle.

                              12. Feather Balance

                              This brain break for kids works well with gentle music, and you can use a balloon or a straw if you don’t have a feather handy.

                              13. Stack them high

                              The students should have plastic cups and paper squares. The goal is to make a tower as high as possible, or it could be to make a triangle or even a pyramid.

                              Relaxing Brain Breaks

                              We talked about brain breaks for kids that are being used to energize the students. But they can also be used to calm and relax them. We’re more familiar with the term mindfulness, but it’s the same idea. These are brain breaks for kids that reduce stress and anxiety.

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                              14. Meditation

                              Meditation

                              is a popular way to reduce anxiety. There are lots of great examples already pre-recorded on YouTube that you can follow along with. Below is a useful classroom meditation example.

                              15. Kaleidoscope

                              Kaleidoscopes are fun ways to relax. They are mesmerizing and like a peaceful vortex that sucks you into them. Below is a great example of a visual online one you can use.

                              16. Reading/Listening to a Story

                              When I surveyed the members of our martial arts club about how their kids employ brain breaks at home, there was a clear winner among the families—listening to a story or reading a story. The feedback was that the process of daydreaming a little helps the kids to recharge. But it goes without saying that the story needs to be engaging.

                              17. Doodling

                              My personal favorite way to brain break as a kid was to doodle. Doodling gives your child a few minutes to draw anything they want. It can be calming for them, and it’s a lot more fun if you have different types of pens or crayons available to use. Add some soft music, and you have a simple way to take some time to relax.

                              18. Coloring Sheets

                              Coloring sheets are another way to relax the mind. There’s lots of great coloring in pads available, but here are some links to public resources shared on the internet that are great examples.

                              19. Deep Breathing

                              Deep breathing

                              is an epic way to help your child slow down. It is a quick way to relieve anxiety so that they feel more ready for the next task ahead.

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                              Try this: put your hands on your tummy, breathe in through the nose, and feel your belly expand like a balloon. Hold it here, then slowly breathe out through the mouth while feeling your stomach get smaller. Repeat this 10 times. Use the following counts: breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breath out for 4 seconds.

                              20. Going Outside

                              Go outside was the second most popular response from our parent’s survey about brain breaks for kids at home. Fresh air always feels nice. You can combine this with a treasure hunt, looking for different colored cars, types of birds, or even types of trees, if you’re familiar with these.

                              My personal favorite is using a mushroom spotting app on our phones and finding a mushroom or toadstool, then using the app to identify its name. This is surprisingly engaging for children. But a few safety rules about not touching them is important. It gives kids a change of scenery and helps revitalize the senses, providing a welcome break from their homework.

                              How Often Should You Introduce Brain Breaks?

                              The key to brain breaks is their timing. If you can introduce them before you notice that your kids are entering deep fatigue or their loss of focus has set in. You’ll find a great balance between breaks and effort.

                              I’ve observed from my martial arts coaching that younger students have a smaller amount of working memory than older kids. My formula is for five minutes of technical training, we provide five minutes of brain breaks for students under seven years old. Plus, we coach to 15 minutes of training to five minutes of brain breaks for children under 12 years.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Implementing calming brain breaks for kids is a really efficient way of introducing brain breaks. You have a quick way to allow your students to learn about regulating themselves. Balancing their mind and energy is a useful skill, and you can take this with you everywhere you go.

                              Our martial arts center revolutionized our approach to coaching by using brain breaks for kids. We found that although we were teaching less technical skills, there was now consistent progress from the students. Plus, everyone was less anxious, happier, and are having more fun. This is a win overall.

                              If you’ve been having challenges with your kids focusing at home, maybe try a mixture of the calming and active breaks to see which types work best for your kids.

                              Featured photo credit: Robert Collins via unsplash.com

                              Reference

                              [1] SimplyPsychology: Working Memory Model
                              [2] BrainFacts.org: Kids Need Brain Breaks — And So Do Adults

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