Breaktimes are the perfect time to get children moving and meeting their target of 30 minutes of activity a day at school. Explore ideas to get even the most reluctant of children moving!

Why is it important?

Engaging in physical activity at breaktimes means that pupils' blood flow to their brain increases. This increase in blood flow results in more energy and oxygen to the brain, allowing them to return to the classroom energised and ready to perform better.

Not only does promoting Active Breaktimes help children improve their physical and mental wellbeing, it also builds resilience and trust with their peer group.

Additional benefits include:

  • Developing growth mindset
  • Building friendships
  • Improving classroom behaviour
  • Returning to the classroom ready to learn

 Using older children as playground leaders or mentors can prove effective in engaging reluctant children in games and activities.

Active Breaktimes Free Resources

One of the key factors in increasing participation in physical activity in schools is to understand what the barriers are for the least active children - for example, lack of confidence, lack of interest in the activities currently on offer, fear of traditional competitive sports.  Start with something simple such as a drop in activity like a 'Just Dance' club to appeal to those groups and build from there.  Use your leaders to work with the least active children to understand what they would be keen to be involved with.

Some of these free resources which may help you engage those harder to reach children:

  • Youth Sport Trust  and School Games Active Recovery Hub has over 250 activities to boost activity before, during and after school.  Resources can be filtered by age and when the activity is planned to happen.
  • Better Health, Healthier Families Shake ups are 10 minute games which are great for breaktime bursts.
  • BBC Supermovers offers a huge range of resources from KS1 and KS2 active learning videos covering English, Maths , Science and PSHE to active videos for use in classrooms at wetplay times.  
  • Sign up free to Active Kids Do Better to get moving, track physical activity and earn rewards.  This collaboration between Nike and Discovery education has a range of resources including quick burst videos to use in classrooms.
  • Access free short interactive classroom based activities with Go Noodle to keep children engaged and motivated.
  • Sign up at Boing Play to use one of their 120 games as quick activities on the playground.
  • Join the Imovement and use their active blast videos in the hall as an alternative to playground games.
  • Complete My Activity Passport with reluctant children - a ticklist of activities pupils can work through.
  • Visit This Girl Can for a range of activities including home exercises, workouts with your pets and Disney Dance Alongs to all your favourite Disney tunes. 
  • The Youth Sport Trust have developed a range of 60 second challenges to encourage children to continue their Personal Challenges at home by trying to improve their performance.  Try a range of activities and download a challenge tracker to track your performance. Click here to access.

Invest in Active Breaktimes 

Furthermore, there are additional resources which can be purchased using PE premium funding to help encourage Active Breaktimes:

  • Fitter Future combine a series of short physical workouts which can be used in the classroom as well as mindful activities for whole school wellbeing.  
  • Sign up to IMoves - there are plenty of videos and activities which can be used inside and outside to promote Active Breaktimes.  
  • Skip2bfit offer face to face and virtual skipping workshops to promote fitness and healthy living.  With each child having their own skipping rope, it's a great way to keep children active without the need for equipment cleaning.
  • Visit The PE Shed to subscribe to their range of PE resources, games and themed topics.

Case Studies

If you are looking for evidence of the impact of Active Breaktimes, take a look at the case studies below for proof of the benefits:

For more information

Please contact:

Claire Mansfield