20 FREE Fun-Filled Brain Break Games for Upper Elementary Students 

Sometimes you need a quick brain break game to help your students make it through the day. 

(Especially if it’s been crummy weather and everyone feels cooped up.) 

But, if “scrolling” through your options for brain break games is taking too much time, check out these 20 fun-filled FREE games to add a couple of new ones to your list! 

And the best part? Most of them take little to no planning 😉. 

This image shows four students sitting in a classroom holding two large dice. The text at the bottom of the image reads "20 Fun-Filled Brain Break Games for Upper Elementary Students."

20 Brain Break Games 

  1. Silent Ball – Have students sit on their desks and toss a ball to each other WITHOUT saying anything. If they talk, they are out. If it is a bad toss or a bad catch, than that person is out. Keep going until one student is left.
  1. Charades – Get those wiggles out with this classic game. One student acts out a word or phrase and everyone else guesses! 
  1. Hot Potato – Form a circle, put on some tunes, and pass an object around. Whoever is holding the object when the music stops is out! 
  1. The Number Game – Your goal as a class is to count up from 0 until 20 (or higher for more of a challenge). But here’s the kicker – you can’t say the same number at the same time as someone else. To make this extra tricky, have all of your students stare at the floor so they can’t make eye contact. 😉
  1. Share a Joke – You as the teacher could share a joke OR open up the floor for some jokes from your students. 
  1. Guess the Word (Hangman) – Play hangman, but maybe draw an animal or spaceship or something other than the traditional game. 😂
  1. 4 Corners – EITHER use it as a way for your students to get to know each other more by moving to a corner that fits their answer to a question. OR turn it into more of a game by having one student be “It”. They close their eyes at the front of the room. Then, the rest of the class moves into one of the four corners. Finally, the person who is “It” randomly chooses a number (without looking). The students in that corner are out. 
  1. Telephone – Create a giant telephone game passing a word or phrase throughout your class. Each student will whisper the phrase into the next person’s ear. You could even make it a competition by splitting your class in half! It’s fun to see how the word has changed by the end! 
  1. Would You Rather – Create some silly scenarios for students to pick between. You can have them stand up or sit down to show their response. OR move to one side of the room to incorporate some extra movement. 
  1. Go Noodle Dance – There are SO many dance videos housed in GoNoodle. Definitely check the website out if you haven’t before! 
  1. Directed Drawing – Calm things down with a directed drawing on YouTube with your class. The drawings will turn out AMAZING and your students will have a blast! (If you are looking for a YouTube channel to use, I highly suggest Art For Kids Hub.) 
  1. Fact or Fiction – Share a crazy or funny statement and have students guess if it is real (fact) or not (fiction). 
  1. Dance Party – Dim the lights, crank up the tunes, and let everyone let loose for 5 to 10 minutes! 
  1. Balloons in the Air – Blow up a couple of balloons. Then, give your students the challenge of keeping them in the air for a certain amount of time. (You could also use beach balls.)  
  1. Bean Bag Toss – Have students partner up and toss a bean bag back and forth. Change it up by telling them to stand on one foot or only use their left hand! 
  1. Museum / Statues – Choose one student to be the “security guard” for the museum. Everyone else is a part of the museum that comes to life at night. But, you don’t want to get caught by the guard. Have the guard close his/her eyes for 30 seconds to allow the rest of the class to get out of their seats and prepare. Then, the guard walks around trying to “catch” people moving while the rest of the class tries to move as much as they can without getting caught! 
  1. Popcorn – Students start this game sitting in their chairs. Then, they can stand up and say “Pop” to become “popped popcorn”. However, if they “pop” at the same time another student “pops”, they both have to sit back down. See how quickly your entire class can become “popped”! 
  1. Line Tag – Take your class outside to the playground or basketball court and play a class-wide game of line tag! To play line tag, have one person be “It”. Everyone runs around on the lines of the basketball court staying away from the person who is “It”. 
  1. Sparkle – Practice spelling with this fun game! Choose a word to spell. Then, move around your classroom one student at a time and have each student say the next letter. Once the word is spelled, the next student says “Sparkle”, and it starts all over again. If you say the incorrect letter, you are out. (For example, if the word is “dog”, the first student would say “D”, the next student would say “O”, the following “G”, and the next student would say “Sparkle”.) 
  1. Ultimate Rock, Paper, Scissors – Have a class-wide rock, paper, scissors tournament that will only have one winner. Have people partner up to play rock, paper scissors. The student who loses becomes the cheering squad for the person who beat them. Eventually, you will get down to two students going head-to-head with the entire class cheering them on. 

The school day can feel long, and indoor recess days can feel non-ending. 

Spice up your transition times or the days you just need something different with some of these brain break games! 

These are also great things to have students work towards as a classroom reward! Are you looking for more classroom reward ideas (that are totally free)? Check out this blog post! 40 Classroom Reward Ideas

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