Play with GoNoodle!

gonoodle_0With screen time on high demand during summer, GoNoodle is a nice compromise to an otherwise passive viewing experience for your child.

“I’m bored!” is usually the precursor phrase to, “ Can I watch TV?” or “Can I play on the iPad?” The frequency of these demands ramp up as the school year draws to a close because, as we all know, with the end of the school year, all those fillers of time like homework, extra-curricular activities, play date availability also dissipate. The summer season’s less structured time creates an activity vacuum which children are eager to fill with screen time. How much screen time is appropriate for children? This seems to be a contentious issue.

There are many different recommendations as to how much screen time children should have, especially when you look at how they engage with many different forms of screen-based media. Last year, The American Academy of Pediatrics published a piece titled “Beyond ‘Turn it off’: How to advise families on media use” which investigates media use and children. An announcement from the AAP is expected in the fall of this year with new policies and recommendations regarding children’s use of screen-based media.

Until then, there is an entire summer to go through. I know I’d like to be able to present an option to my child that doesn’t riddle me with bad parenting guilt yet still satiates her want for screen-based entertainment during those moments of empty time. This is where the magic of GoNoodle comes in.

My daughter was introduced to GoNoodle this year in her 2nd grade classroom. GoNoodle is a free site that you can sign up for your child which provides them with interactive, short, brain-stimulating movement breaks. Originally designed for teachers of K-5th classrooms, GoNoodle was based on the premise that desk-side movement helps kids achieve more by keeping them engaged and motivated throughout the school day. I recently signed my daughter up for a GoNoodle account at home since she loved her GoNoodle breaks so much during the school year. I use it as a reward a few “jobs well done” around the house. Since then, she has turned into a bit of a GoNoodle addict!

BlobRoss_screenThere are 5 different categories of “movement” videos (Guided dancing, free movement, stretching, sports and exercise, and kinesthetic learning) spread over about 20 different themed “channels”. When you sign up, your child picks a “champ” that represents their engagement level and progress with the app. The champs are cute little monsters with names like Blob Ross and Bartleby Trucks.  The more your child plays GoNoodle, the more your child’s chosen champ grows and evolves. Eventually your child’s champ grows to its complete state at which time they can then chose another champ to play for.


Parents of children with sensory issues or attention issues have the additional benefits of movements being designed to keep your child’s brain organized. There are many of the guided movement that require the child to cross their body’s midline which helps activate both hemispheres of the brain. I doing so, these movement create whole brain activity and help re-enforce gross motor bilateral coordination. The activities are presented in fun, often funny silly ways so most kids really engage with it. You can use it as a complement to any Occupational Therapy home program you might be assigned.

For those kids that need to use the summer for some academic catch-up, there are also academic games on the site where they can play math games or ELA games.

If we are going to give in to additional summer screen-time, why shouldn’t it be stimulating, short, and physically active, as well as fun?

CbYpA07VIAILzqOSign up for free at

Read how one mom uses GoNoodle at home:

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  1. says: Julie

    Our child on the spectrum (and ADHD) complains that her schoolteachers’ use of GoNoodle means kids in the room get really loud and it hurts her ears. I read lots of benefits for kids with attention challenges, but would appreciate hearing how teachers can provide this movement opportunity in a way that doesn’t overwhelm kids with auditory sensitivities.

    1. says: Anouck Iyer

      Hello! In order to address this issue, in some classrooms, the teachers make available noise cancelling/ noise lowering headsets that the students can wear at any time they experience being overwhelmed by sound, or distracted by ambient classroom noises. Because they are available to all the students in the classroom, and different children use them at different times whenever needed, there isn’t really a social stigma about wearing the headphones. For example, your daughter could wear them when the class takes a GoNoodle movement break, while another student might wear them while reading and needing to tune out the other kids.

      In some classrooms, the kids go outside for quick movement breaks, which seem to disperse the noise of the children.

      It might be worth asking whether the teachers have noise canceling headphones for their classroom.

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