Simple innovation in school

This exercise combines innovation and teaching - and generates ideas for Brain Breaks while kids move around and recharge their batteries.

  1. Place a Magnum Set in a large circle on the floor with images facing up.
  2. The kids move around the card circle and try to find a picture card that they think is fun and makes them happy. They do not pick it up.
  3. When everybody has been all the way around the circle, they all do it again but this time they pick a picture.  If somebody else has taken the one they liked best, they take the second-best.
  4. Standing in a circle, everyone tells the others about his/her card.
  5. When all kids have told their story they hold their card in front of them. Now, it is time to categorise the stories under a maximum of four headings. It could be sport, music, friends and problems – or maybe games, good humour, dance and family. Write the headings on the blackboard. You collect all cards.
  6. On the blackboard you write the requirements that the Brain Breaks have to meet:a. They must not exceed 10 minutes.b. They must include physical activity.c. They must be fun!
  7. Then the kids assemble in groups of three and spend 15 minutes trying to come up with fun Brain Breaks. Give every group a stack of Pocket cards, backside up. When one kid turns a card, the group must come up with a physical exercise that can be matched with one of the headings on the blackboard and meets all requirements. – When the idea is in place, the group puts the card aside and turn another one from the stack. If they cannot come up with any ideas, they just turn another card.
  8. After 15 minutes you stop the process. With their cards, the groups present their best Brain Breaks. When a Brain Break has been presented, the whole class applauds. The more fun a Brain Break is, the bigger and noisier the applause.

If you use this exercise in (foreign) language classes, it is very instructive for the kids to write guidelines for the most popular Brain Breaks and test them in other classes. Making simple and understandable guidelines is a challenging task!



Innovation is discovering, developing and applying new ideas in known workflows and processes. Give innovation a boost with images.



90% of the brain’s sensory input comes from visual sources. Images start thought tracks in the brain. If they cross each other in new combinations, new ideas emerge.



Creativity unfolds when we use imagery and try to combine different and seemingly independent motifs with each other.