Breathing exercises for kids

Breathing exercises for kids

Written by: Yordi Uytersprot



Time to read 6 min

In a child's world, where school, play, and growing up can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride, they might sometimes feel overstimulated, stressed, or frustrated. However, there exist simple ways to calm them down and let them catch their breath: breathing exercises.

In this article, we explore breathing exercises designed especially for children and how these simple yet deeply impactful methods can assist your child in facing the more difficult parts of their life in a calm way. These benefits extend from improving their focus to effectively managing emotions and nurturing inner tranquility, offering limitless advantages. This article discusses:

  • When children can benefit from breathwork
  • Breathing techniques to try with your child
  • Teaching children breathing techniques
  • Props that can help kids make breathwork fun
  • Yoga as an alternative to let your children calm down
  • A printable poster for kids - rainbow breathing

When children can benefit from breathwork

Breathing exercises for kids offer invaluable support in various situations throughout their young lives. These techniques become particularly beneficial when children encounter moments of stress, anxiety, or overstimulation, helping them regain composure and emotional balance.

Additionally, breathing exercises can aid in sharpening their focus and concentration during schoolwork or other tasks that require sustained attention. They serve as a valuable tool for managing intense emotions and teaching children to navigate their feelings with resilience and self-awareness.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, these exercises are a concrete way of offering a sense of calm and relaxation, which is very important for a child's well-being.

Breathing techniques to try with your child

  • Smell the flower and blow the candle : One of the most straightforward breathing exercises is smell the flower and blow the candle . Hold your hand open in front of the face of your child. Ask them to simply imagine they are smelling a flower and breathing in deeply through their nose. Then, close your hand only pointing your index finger upwards, representing a candle. Ask your child now to blow the candle, breathing out through their mouth. This is an excellent, easy exercise you and your child can begin with
  • Balloon breathing : To practice balloon or belly breathing , ask the child to lie comfortably on their back and place their teddy bear or a book on their belly. Say, "Imagine your belly is like a balloon. When we breathe in, the balloon fills up with air and gets big. When we breathe out, the balloon lets the air out and gets small. Now, watch your teddy bear or book. When you take a deep breath, you'll see your teddy bear or book rise because your belly balloon is getting big. When you breathe out, your teddy bear or book will go down because your belly balloon is getting smaller." By using a teddy bear or book, you're making the exercise more tangible and relatable for the child, making it easier for them to grasp the concept and practice belly breathing effectively.
  • Bubble breathing : Another easy and fun exercise you can do together with your child is bubble breathing . When you blow bubbles, you purse your lips while breathing in slowly through your nose and out through your pursed lips. You can do this either by actually blowing bubbles or just imagining you are blowing bubbles. Repeat this til your child feels less overwhelmed or stressed again.
  • Shoulder roll breathing : This exercise releases tight muscles and tension and makes you and your child feel more relaxed in just a few minutes. You find a quiet place and a comfortable position. As you breathe in, you roll your shoulders up toward your ears. While exhaling, drop your shoulders back down. Ask your child to feel all the tension floating away when breathing out as if with each exhale, you let go of more tension.
  • Rainbow breathing : For this fun exercise, you need a rainbow poster. You can receive this poster through this link  . You and your child follow the white dot all the way across the rainbow to regain peace of mind. Read more about this exercise in this article  .

Teaching children breathing techniques

You should consider several factors when teaching your child(ren) breathing exercises to make breathing exercises as accessible and relaxing as possible.

  • You should choose a quiet environment where you and your child won’t be disturbed. This will help create a conducive environment for relaxation.
  • Explain the purpose of breathing exercises in simple and age-appropriate language . You can say something like, "We're going to play a fun game that helps us relax and feel better."
  • Children often learn by example, so practice the breathing exercises together . It can be a bonding experience and make it more fun for them.
  • Make it fun by turning the breathing exercise into a game or story, or use props to keep the child engaged. By using props, you're making the exercise more tangible and relatable for the child, making it easier for them to grasp the concept and practice belly breathing effectively.
  • Children may take some time to get the hang of breathing exercises, so be patient and encourage them without pressure. It's okay if they don't get it right away.
  • Encourage the child to practice these exercises regularly , especially during times when they may feel stressed or anxious. Consistent practice can help them develop this useful skill.

Props that can help kids make breathwork fun

Using props to make breathwork fun for kids can be a great way to engage their imagination and keep them interested in the practice.

Bubbles provide visual feedback, making it easier for kids to grasp the concept of the exercise bubble breathing or deeply breathing out through their mouth. They also add an element of playfulness to the exercise.

Stuffed animals offer comfort and familiarity, making the child feel secure during the exercise. Placing a stuffed animal on their belly allows them to sense their breath while practicing balloon breathing physically.

Nature sounds , like ocean waves, birdsong, sounds of a waterfall, or rain induce a calming atmosphere that encourages relaxation. They help children concentrate on their breath by reducing distractions and providing soothing auditory cues.

Calming music sets a relaxed mood with its slow tempo and soothing melodies. It guides children in regulating their breath and maintaining a steady pace.

A rainbow poster adds a visually stimulating element to the exercise. Its vibrant colors capture a child's attention and can stimulate their imagination, making rainbow breathing more engaging. You can receive your own printable rainbow poster through  this link  .

Moonbird  is a tactile breathing guide that expands when you inhale and contracts again when you exhale. The device is indeed developed for adults, but we have received several testimonials from customers (parents, teachers, therapists) telling us that (their) children use it too. Sometimes with two hands, it is too big for one hand, but it works just as well! For children, the rhythm is more like 8 to 9 breaths per minute. Coaches recommend 3 seconds in and 4.5 seconds out.

Yoga as an alternative to let children calm down

Yoga is a special way to help calm kids down. It mixes moving your body, paying attention to your thoughts, and taking slow breaths. It helps kids use up extra energy, focus better, and feel less stressed. Yoga also makes bodies more flexible, and stronger and helps kids control their feelings. When teaching yoga to kids, it's important to make it fun and just right for their age. It's also good to find a quiet place where they can relax while they do it. So, yoga gives kids useful tools to feel relaxed and happy.

A printable poster for kids - rainbow breathing

In today's world, with lots of technology and stuff happening, kids can feel like there's too much going on. So, parents are looking for simple tricks to help their kids calm down. One exercise is called rainbow breathing, and it's a fun way to help kids relax. Rainbow breathing is all about following a dot across the aches of the rainbow with your finger, taking deep breaths, and feeling more peaceful. It's a helpful tool for kids to handle stress, restlessness, and too much excitement. It can also make them better at focusing and controlling their feelings. So, Rainbow Breathing is a cool way for parents, teachers, and therapists to help kids be mindful and calm in today's busy world.   Click this link   to read the full article and receive a printable poster to do this exercise together with children.

Wondering what moonbird can do for you? See   how breathing with moonbird works.

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