Why you should get to know GoNoodle

Each day through the school year, teachers face the question of how to engage students and create an upbeat classroom environment. The answer? GoNoodle, a free online library of “brain break” videos designed to get kids moving during the school day.

Just three years after its launch in 2013, Nashville-based GoNoodle Inc. received the Kids at Play Interactive (KAPi) Award for Best Product for Schools. Over 65,000 schools and nearly a million home users are visiting GoNoodle.com and “GoNoodling” on a regular basis.

Want to learn more? Let’s spell it out:

G is for Get the wiggles out.

“We know it’s difficult to keep students happily focused while sitting at their desks for so long,” says Amy Huffman, GoNoodle’s VP of Communications. “Our movement videos are designed to keep students engaged and active in the classroom, since research shows that movement fuels brain power by changing the way kids learn new concepts and retain information.”

O is for Original content.

“We create and curate videos that get kids moving,” says Huffman. In addition to carrying content from established exercise brands like Zumba, GoNoodle creates original songs and videos in zany collections like Awesome Sauce and Brainercise with Mr. Catman. The latest addition to the lineup is Blazer Fresh, a hip-hop dance trio with educational facts jammed into their lyrics.

N is for No need for a gymnasium.

The only requirements are an internet connection, a screen that is visible to everyone, and a sense of fun. The movements are designed for “desk-side” activity, meaning that kids only need their individual space to run in place, do gentle stretches, or groove to the beat.

O is for Options.

There is a seemingly limitless supply of energizing “guided dance” videos, such as the MooseTube collection with its upbeat camp chants, or Koo Koo Kanga Roo, a pair of dancing dudes who unapologetically bust out their wacky moves. There are also mindful, calming segments with names like Flow and Think About It. “We have our go-to classroom favourites,” says Grade 3 teacher Jennifer McCabe, “but when some of the kids started doing GoNoodle at home, they also came in with suggestions of new videos for us to try.”

O is for Oogles Fitzlemon.

...Om Petalhead and GoNoodle’s many other creatively-named cartoon characters, or “Champs”.Users select a Champ and earn new physical features for it as their activity time accumulates. Once a Champ has moved through all its growth levels (each one more visually amusing than the next), users can print a graduation certificate and choose a new character.

D is for Designed for the realities of the school day.

“I have used GoNoodle as an icebreaker, a transition between periods, and a reward for good behaviour,” says McCabe. “Sometimes I write GONOODLE on the board, and every time the noise level gets too loud, I erase a letter. The number of remaining letters represents the number of songs they get to do.” When cold or rainy weather causes students to stay inside, GoNoodle’s Indoor Recess Mega Mixes (starring an overzealous gym teacher named Coach Terry) provide a handy pre-packaged set of videos lasting 10 to 15 minutes.

L is for Let’s hear the back-story on the name.

According to GoNoodle co-founder Aaron Briggs, the development team came up with the name by making two columns of words. “Column one listed words that communicated movement, and column two had words that communicated learning,” recalls Briggs. “The word ‘noodle’ was on the second list because it's fun slang for the brain, as in ‘use your noodle.’ From there, we jammed up combinations of words until something sounded good.”

E is for Easy to use.

GoNoodle’s menu screens are uncluttered and easy to navigate. The length of each video is displayed with its thumbnail for efficient selection. Videos are grouped by channel as well as category, and there is a search bar to look up specific requests. For at-home users, GoNoodle can be accessed online or through Apple TV. There is also an online blog with seasonal tie-ins, free printables and tips to maximize your GoNoodle fun. Why not give it a go?