About Brain break bops
Brain break bops are interoception activities for pre-school and early primary school students.
Building interoceptive awareness (feeling more connected with your body and your bodily signals) requires students to actively notice changes in their body state. To do this, students complete a movement for thirty seconds, and pause to reflect, before completing it for a second time. Each activity has been timed to support this structure in an engaging way.
The animated videos are two-minutes long. They all feature an interoception movement, plus other fun dance moves and memorable song lyrics.
Some of the videos are calming and relaxing, while others are more energising. They include a range of positions, such as sitting, lying down, or standing up, and can be adapted to suit your classroom (for example, sitting on either a mat or a chair).
Each of the activities includes a downloadable song. Once your students are familiar with the actions, you may find that they can follow along to the song without needing the visual prompt of the video.
The activity posters show the primary interoception movement with instructions and prompting questions. You can display the posters around your classroom, or keep them in a quiet space, as a reminder for students to use the activities to emotionally self-regulate. We recommend printing posters in A3 for ease of reading the text.
About the characters
The animated characters demonstrating the interoception activities have been adapted from Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA). You might like to download each character's activity card, which are best printed in A6.
In the classroom
Use the Brain break bops as best works for your class, depending on student needs, the ages of your students, as well as the time you have available for your program.
- Interoceptive awareness is built through repeated and progressive exposure to the activities. It is most beneficial for the children to do interoception activities at least two to three times a day.
- Sessions may be most effective scheduled mid-way through a class for a brain break, or first thing in the morning, after recess or lunch, or after a transition when students may require refocusing.
- The activities are best introduced as a proactive tool when students are emotionally regulated, or before the signs or boredom, fatigue and emotional dysregulation set in.
- As inclusive activities, they are great for the whole class or small groups. They can also be in one-on-one sessions and adapted to meet the abilities and needs of individual students.
These activities can be introduced and taught in the same way that you usually introduce and teach action songs.
The first time you introduce one of the ‘Brain break bops’ to your students, just ask them to watch with no expectation that they complete any actions or sing the lyrics. Some students may need to watch the video several times before they feel comfortable joining in.
Practice the movements
- Take some time to walk through the movements without the video playing, allowing students to practice as their own pace.
- Reassure students that they do not have to be perfect, emphasising ‘trying’ rather than ‘doing’.
- Once you progress to following along with the video, you might like to pause it after each segment and make sure that all students are keeping up.
- When your students have got the hang of the activity, play the video all the way through and have some fun!
You can guide students to actively notice the change in their body through prompting questions. Each activity poster includes two recommend questions, with vocabulary ideas for suggested answers:
- Where can you feel something?
- How does it feel?
Ask students the questions and encourage them to answer based on their own feelings and experiences. Everyone's body is unique so each child might have a different answer.
More on interoception
Visit Interoception and self-regulation: Get ready to learn for more interoception activities, an educator guide and information for families and caregivers.