Author Deb Avery | Published 1 December 2022


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

Brain gym exercises are great to use at the start of the day. They can warm up the learners and help them develop positive relationships. They’re especially useful for learners who have learning disabilities. These learners often need something to help them concentrate, and the movement encourages the right and left halves of the brain to work together.

Stage 1: Prepare

Make sure all the learners have some clear space around them so they are not touching anyone else.

Stage 2: Introduce

Say: ‘Let’s start the day by warming up our brains. What do football players do to warm up their bodies before a game?’

Hold a short discussion.

Say: ‘This exercise is called “The elephant”. It will help us wake up all the areas of our brain.’

Stage 3: Demonstrate

Show the learners what to do as you give instructions.

Say: ‘Put your left ear on your left shoulder. Hold your left arm out like an elephant’s trunk.

Keep your knees relaxed. Draw a sideways eight with your left arm. Repeat five times’ 

Stage 4: Play activity

Say: ‘Now it’s your turn.’

Give the instructions again while learners perform the exercise.

Say: ‘Switch arms. Put your right ear on your right shoulder and use your right arm to draw sideways eights. Now, let’s do the whole exercise again twice.’

Say: ‘Are your brains ready for work?  Sit down and get ready to learn.’

Brain gym activities can take many forms, for example: walking on the spot, neck circles, yawning, deep breathing, etc. Combine exercises or use them individually. These are good activities to use at the start of a day or when learners need a break before moving to a new activity. 


Brain gym: inclusive game

Learning disabilities: disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention.