* GoNoodle

Taking effective brain breaks just got a LOT easier and significantly more entertaining at GoNoodle!  This site has engaging videos to use with kids, whether from a SmartBoard, laptop, or tablet.  GoNoodle is jam-packed with videos to keep students moving, calming, stretching, or learning.  Teachers and parents can sign up for free to access the following groups of resources:

categories of brain breaksGoNoodle activities (green icon above) feature a range of wacky characters who guide you and your kids through an average of three minute breaks (with some as short as a minute and others over four minutes).  Kids can dance, stretch, jump, and act silly as you select from one of 30 videos in the GoNoodle section.  The names of the videos may help you select an appropriate one for your setting (for example, The Bunny, The Propeller, Whirling Happiness, or Cozy Chair).  I previewed almost all of them, gaining points as I increased my time spent on the videos.  (My “demo class” avatar has been “transmorgified” and now tells jokes.)  The graphics and sounds of GoNoodle videos are terrific.  The characters are animated or simply voiced over background graphics.  Here’s The Bunny, led by the chicken.  Go figure.

the bunny

Another well-done video called Airtime focuses on calming.  Select your state, get in the airplane, and breathe slowly as you “fly” like a bubble through the state to an interesting historical site.  Collect printable postcards when you land; I got one from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

There are multiple GoNoodle videos using guided visual imagery to manage emotions.  One section focuses on Attitude: Chin Up, Weather the Storm, and Victorious.  The other section relates to Stress: On and Off, Bring It Down, and Rainbow Breath.  I am not personally a huge fan of guided imagery, but these are benign at the least and could be useful for some kids.

My favorite category is Zumba Kids.  The upbeat music and real-life dancers have a lot of kid appeal, as well as representing diverse groups of kids.  These two taught me some new dance moves:Zumba for kids

The Run With Us category features a young man who describes his prosthetic leg before guiding kids through warm ups for a variety of “running in place” races.  running

Koo Koo Kangaroo features cleverly animated backgrounds with silly characters who ride roller coasters, train as ninjas, and ask for sandwiches with no crusts.  One downside of this series is that the five characters are all white adults.  The YouTube videos include a wide assortment of action, counting, and spelling clips, ranging from movies (Despicable Me) to TV shows (Sesame Street).  You can easily add your own favorite YouTube brain break while browsing that category.

The GoNoodle site also features a blog, with freebies, tips, and research on effective strategies.

For $10 a month or $99 a year, you can upgrade to GoNoodle Plus.  These “premium” videos feature active learning while moving, such as skip counting and spelling.  In one video, whole classes can compete in virtual games to collect gems, playing against each other or an animated character while answering a range of questions appropriate for that grade level.

GoNoodle has something to keep every noodle healthy!