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Adding Movement Breaks in Your School Day

As a school OT I strive to integrate movement into my student's school day. I like to find simple, sustainable ways to encourage students to move. To avoid unnecessary disruptions, my interventions are user-friendly and require little setup and training. I work with teachers to layer movement into their pre-existing routines rather than creating new routines. I find that layering movement on top of schedules that are already work leads to greater participation and follow-through - which also means that my students are able to get the movement they need throughout their school day. The hallway circuit and the hallway sprints are great ways to layer movement into natural school transitions and offer a quick and easy "break" that students can request and learn to do independently.

The hallway circuit is a poster I designed that uses simple exercises which don't require any equipment. Students participate in each exercise for a specific amount of time (say, 10 seconds each exercise - 30 seconds if you're up for a challenge) and when the time is up they move to the next exercise.

You can make your own hallway sprints by creating two boards, one for each side of the hallways. Each board should have about 5 spaces - adhere velcro to each space. Choose 5 motivating pictures, and adhere velcro to the back of these pictures. Have your students run the pictures (one at a time) from one side of the hallway to the other side of the hallway. Repeat if necessary. Some picture ideas include:

- Pokemon - "run them back as fast as you can to evolve the Pokemon"

- Trains - "Choo choo... help the train run express by running as fast as you can"

- Animals - "take this frog and jump like a frog all the way back to the other side.... like a bear.. like a crab.. etc"

If you try these ideas out, I'd love to hear how it worked for you. Leave me a comment below!

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