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The amazing way 5 minutes can affect your child's learning experience.

Because sometimes kids just need to get the 'wiggles' out.

The amazing way 5 minutes can affect your child's learning experience.
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Remember what it was like as a kid trying to sit still in a classroom all day?

Maybe you didn't get enough sleep the night before. You woke up late, rushed through breakfast, and raced to catch the bus to school. You tried to remain still and quiet in class for hours, but even though you wanted to learn, all your extra kid-energy made it hard to focus. Sound familiar?

Classrooms are amazing places of learning where kids discover more about the world, learn social skills, and hopefully cultivate a lifelong sense of wonder.


But they’re also places built around desks and chairs and seated work — something we’re learning isn’t great for adults, let alone growing kids.

Boo knows she needs to learn her ABCs, but she just can't right now. GIF from "Monsters, Inc."

With easy access to mobile phones, video games, and streaming video — not to mention parents' busy schedules — kids today can spend a lot more time sitting down than they used to.

That's not great news.

The CDC recommends that children get 60 minutes of physical activity a day, but government research shows that most children typically get less than 20 minutes. Too much sitting can contribute to low self-esteem, emotional outbursts, or even bullying, as kids look for ways to release their pent-up energy, anxiety, and stress.

If we want to help kids grow up to be their best selves, they need to be able to move and play during their school day, with all the running, dancing, and goofing around that comes with it.

So, how do teachers and parents get kids moving more? The answer is simple: a five-minute "brain break."

Brain breaks are the creation of GoNoodle — an online video service for teachers and parents looking for fun ways to get kids moving. Log on to the GoNoodle website and there's a huge library of videos to choose from — everything from yoga-inspired stretches to dance-a-longs to breathing exercises — all designed to help kids release extra energy and get ready to refocus and learn.

"Together with teachers, parents, schools, and businesses we are on a mission to get kids moving. The response to GoNoodle is amazing. In just over two years we've built an audience that rivals the top websites for kids, with one unique difference — GoNoodle gets kids moving." — Scott McQuigg, CEO and co-founder of GoNoodle.

Image by iStock.

All that moving around really adds up. As of January 2016, more than 480,000 teachers in 68,000 schools have brought "brain breaks" into their classrooms — with 10 million kids participating.

In Tennessee alone, students logged an amazing 100 million minutes of physical activity with GoNoodle, all since the beginning of the school year. They're part of a huge cohort that has used GoNoodle to move for an absolutely astounding 3 billion minutes between last August and this May.

How do you get 40 Kinders ready to go back to class??? 🎈 FLOW!! 🎈#breathe #relax #kinderschillout These short videos are great getting the kids heart rates back down and ready to focus back in class. ❤️~ @amber_j14 @shasta1414
A photo posted by GoNoodle (@gonoodle) on

Not only are kids moving a lot more, they're also doing better in their schoolwork.

Image by iStock.

Plenty of studies show the connection between physical activity and a sharp mind. A 2010 study comparing test scores of 9- and 10-year-old kids who exercised regularly with those who didn't showed that the more active kids scored better on every single test. Another study used MRI brain scans to show how active, healthy kids have a better-developed hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory.

There's research specific to GoNoodle too. In 2015, an independent research company compared a school-year's worth of standardized math test scores for two groups of students and found that those who participated in "brain breaks" scored 50% higher than those who didn't.

Students aren't the only ones benefitting; some teachers are also big fans and are using Instagram to share awesome videos of their classes participating.

#tbt to this Cheerleader dance party at Julia Green Elementary! 📚 Have a happy day, GoNoodlers!
A video posted by GoNoodle (@gonoodle) on

It's clear that helping kids be their bestest, silliest, most active selves makes a real difference for kids — on and off the report card.

Classrooms aren't always fun places for all kids. Making going to school a more joyful, engaging, and playful part of a kid's day can improve their lives in real, meaningful ways. So, take a five minute break, kids! Your brain will thank you.

Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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When Donato Di Camillo was a kid, his family couldn't afford film for their Polaroid camera.

So instead, he ran around the house with a film-less camera pretending to be a hotshot photographer on an African safari, mimicking the heroes behind iconic photos he saw in the discarded National Geographic magazines his dad grabbed for him out of the garbage.

Years later, when Di Camillo found himself in prison after collecting a lengthy rap sheet of thefts, he discovered a library full of those same magazines.

While other inmates were working out or getting into trouble, he pored over old issues of National Geographic, Life, and Time.

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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