The 20 Best Brain Break Songs

By sara / February 22, 2017

Everyone remembers sitting in class as a child and getting a case of ants in your pants. Teachers have now recognized that this is an awesome point in the day for a Brain Break! When you are dealing with little learners, you start to sense when they need to take a break and get the wiggles out with a fun-filled Brain Break.

What is a Brain Break? 

When you are teaching, I’m sure you have noticed that there are certain times in the day when your students start to get antsy and are less focused on their work. As much as we’d like them to be, our student’s attention spans aren’t necessarily as long as class time. Brain breaks can be a godsend at this point and they are the perfect way to reenergize and recharge your class by letting them stretch and move to fun-filled songs, often with creative dance moves, so they can focus on their next assignment.

Some Brain Breaks are also designed to help children learn and retain words or facts. Studies have shown that when facts or information is put to music, students will retain 70 - 100% of the information that they say, hear, see and do compared to just 10% of what they hear.​

When Should You Do a Brain Break? 

The main purpose of a Brain Break is to be a fun wake up for your students, so these activities can be utilized before, during, and after a lesson. This is really the teacher’s call as you know your students the best and can tell when they are starting to lose focus. Transitioning between activities is also a great time to use a Brain Break, so they won’t get distracted with chatter while they move on to the next task.

Which Brain Breaks Should I Use?

How you choose your Brain Breaks should depend on how much space you have in your classroom and how much time you have. Many Brain Breaks include dancing and getting up to use up some of their pent up energy. Other Brain Breaks can center on a game like tic-tac-toe, so a lot of the decision depends on the moment and what you are capable of doing with your group in the time and space you have.

Here are a few Brain Break ideas that span traditional children’s song and nursery rhymes to more contemporary music by popular children’s television shows and movies. There is also seasonal examples to help remind you to think out of the box and change it up depending on the time of year.​

20. C’mon Let’s Dance by The Learning Station

"C'mon Let's Dance" is a great choice as a Brain Break son that is easy and fun for children to use to take a quick energy break. With an informal approach, “C’mon Let’s Dance” uses a fast pace to move through numerous dances, and it encourages children to use creativity with its lyrics. When you are looking for a song to help take a few seconds to stretch, dance, and move so that kids can return to their work refreshed and ready to learn, “C’mon Let’s Dance” provides a good mix of dance and creativity for preschool and kindergarten classes.

19. The Skeleton Dance by Kids Songs

It’s also important to include some Brain Break songs that can be used a seasonal favorite as well. One song that is great for Halloween, or any time of the year, is The Skeleton Dance. Kids Songs gives you a fun and simple song that helps children learn the different parts of the body and is based on the old spiritual, Dem Bones. This is a song that has been used for generations and this is a fun-filled rendition that kids will love.

18. Shake Your Sillies Out by The Learning Station

All kids have the sillies and it’s great to have a song that lets them "Shake Your Sillies Out". This is a silly and action packed song that is perfect for Brain Breaks and can also be used at circle time or in group activities. “Shake Your Sillies Out” is fun and easy to learn and kids love being able to dance, sing, move, and laugh through the song. Once they have reenergized, they will be ready to concentrate on their addition and subtraction with a smile on their face. “Shake Your Sillies Out” is perfect for preschoolers through elementary aged children.

17. Seasame Street Will.I.Am: What I Am 

This is an example of a classic television show getting a reenergized boost from a current star. Will.i.am and his song “What I Am” makes our list for its contemporary take on our beloved children’s show. It has a catchy dance beat that gets the kids energized with fun dance moves, plus it helps them develop new vocabulary while hearing an inspirational song geared towards helping children think positively about what they are able to achieve.

16. Tony Chestnut (Toe Knee Chestnut) by The Learning Station

Part of the Learning Station’s campaign to support healthy music for a child’s body, heart, and mind, Tony Chestnut is a wonderful song to help children get out the wiggles as well as teach them the different parts of the body. This is a perfect song for younger children and it has become an international phenomenon that makes children all over the world smile.

15. What Does the Fox Say? By Just Dance

One of the more popular songs in recent history that attracted a kid audience is “What Does the Fox Say?” Just Dance has turned this into a Brain Break song with high energy moves that helps kids get rid of some of the excess energy. It also helps to reinforce for younger children the sounds that animals make (besides the fox of course).

14. The Alphabet Song by Have Fun Teaching

Kids always love classic songs and Have Fun Teaching has created The Alphabet Song as an entertaining Brain Break to focus on phonics. The Alphabet Song is a fun-filled way for kids to get out that extra energy as well as learn phonics, letter sounds, plus lower and uppercase letter recognition. Characters Alphy, Lexy, and Funzy will join you on your journey to shake out the wiggles and learn the sounds that the letters make.

13. Get Funky by The Learning Station

The Learning Station uses “Get Funky”, an awesome dance song that is taking over the world, to help children learn some dance moves and get out some pent up energy. “Get Funky” is the ideal song for some great brain break action since it is easy and fun to dance to. When children feel happy and energized, they can tackle those academics with a positive attitude. This is a great song for children anywhere from preschool to elementary school, and it can even be used in physical education.

12. Let’s Star Jump by Debbie Doo Kids TV

There is a whole youtube channel of Brain Break songs courtesy of Debbie Doo. Debbie welcomes us into her fun and educational world with simple songs that have fun and creative movement routines that are ideal for younger kids. Let’s Star Jump is written by Debbie Doo and features dance moves that improve fitness and coordination to a fun and high energy tune. Children of all ages will enjoy Starjumping with Debbie Do.

11. Stomp and Clap by The Learning Station

“Stomp and Clap” helps to motivate children to get up and move around and get healthy. Not only are children inspired to stretch and strengthen their muscles, but the song encourages them to get healthy and fit. This is another great Brain Break song from The Learning Station that is perfect for preschoolers through lower elementary.

10. Disney's Frozen "Let It Go"

If you really want to get the kids attention, you need to go for the showstopper, Disney’s Frozen “Let It Go”. Almost every small child will know the words by heart, and they will be super enthused to sing their little hearts out with Elsa. Not only will they be able to exercise their vocals, but all your little princes and princesses will enjoy acting out this famous movie scene with Elsa.

9. Cosmic Kids Yoga

Do your kids love yoga? It is a great exercise to help children ages 3+ to practice relaxation and mindfulness. This Brain Break is often used at home and in schools all over the world. There are several Kids Yoga adventures associated with this series that will children of all ages can enjoy. 


8. The Hokey Pokey by The Learning Station

Another fun classic that kids always love to dance to is the “Hokey Pokey”. This is a fun rendition of the popular kids dance song that will have kids up and moving. As kids do the steps of the song, they learn about different parts of the body while learning to listen and follow directions; otherwise, they will quickly get out of sync! The Hokey Pokey is a good Brain Break for preschoolers through lower elementary.

7. Kung Fu Fighting by Just Dance Kids

The song "Kung Fu Fighting" is, of course, a classic that has been rediscovered through the popularity of the movie Kung Fu Panda by Dreamworks Animation Studio. With the success of the song among the younger set, it was developed into a Brain Break by Just Dance Kids. Children will love the music and the movements that mix both dance steps with martial arts moves.

6. Boom Chicka Boom by Jack Hartmann

If you are looking for a Brain Break that is a new twist on a classic, Jack Hartmann’s “Boom Chicka Boom” should fit the bill. It has silly movements with fun characters in a fun “repeat after me” approach that encourages listening and following directions. “Boom Chicka Boom” highlights phonological awareness while kids move and have fun.

5. Move and Freeze by The Learning Station

“Move and Freeze” is a great brain break action song for children and is a fun and easy song for a quick energy break in the middle of class. Just taking a few minutes to dance, sing, move and giggle can help give kids that extra boost to recharge when they return to their academics. “Move and Freeze” is ideal for preschoolers through elementary aged children.

4. The Sid Shuffle by Ice Age Continental Drift

Capitalizing on the popularity of the movie Ice Age Continental Drift, the "The Sid Shuffle" mixes fun music with dance instruction that engages children through active listening. Simple steps were developed to help children improve their coordination and rhythmic motion is encouraged with the strong beat. This can be an awesome Brain Break song since so many children are familiar with it and it’s a blast to dance to!


3. Body Boogie by The Learning Station

When you are looking for a great Brain Break song to get the kids movie, “Body Boogie” will help the kids take a quick energy break. This is a fun and easy dance song that gives the kids a chance to sing and dance with lots of action and energizing them to continue with their studies. This is a good Brain Break song for preschoolers through elementary, and it also works well in physical education class.


2. Peas Porridge by Jack Hartmann

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1. Jump Up, Turn Around, Cross the Midline

This is a catchy tune that is geared towards young children and includes a lot of actions that cross the midline. Crossing the midline is an important movement in a child’s development that refers to their ability to reach across with both arms and legs that invisible line down the center of your body. This song uses movements to coordinate with both sides of the body to encourage interaction between the two sides of the brain. This is a good song for preschoolers through elementary and can be a fun addition to any classroom environment.