Taking deep breaths is a great way to help your child calm down or help them be more in-tune with their bodies. In Occupational Therapy, we focus on what being calm “feels like”. Here are some family-friendly breathing exercises and techniques to help your child take deep breaths to promote a calm and focused body. These are great ways to help your child connect with their body and make breathing fun!
Try different animal breaths
Buzz Like a Bee
Try bee breaths — long inhale, exhaled while “buzzing” like a bee.
Breath Like a Dragon
Try dragon breaths — long inhale, followed by a strong and powerful exhale to breathe fire.
Rawr Like a Bear
Maybe your child might like “bear breaths” — long inhale, with a RAWRRRR exhale.
These are great ways to allow your child to focus on the pacing of their breaths. When people become upset or frustrated or have difficulty with calming down, they may breathe with shallow and quick breaths. Animal breaths are great ways to slow breathing and increase their ability to breathe more deeply which both help promote calmness and organization.
Animal breaths are also a fun take on “taking deep breaths” which may encourage your child to to try them!
Introduce Star Breaths
Try using star breaths! Use this visual to help support your child’s breathing.
First, get your finger ready to trace. Then, start at any “breathe in” side of the star. Hold your breath at the point, then breathe out. Keep going until you’ve traveled around the whole star. These visuals help children focus and coordinate their breathing. Use these deep breathing techniques to help your child calm down when they are upset, or anytime your child needs to focus.
These breathing exercises are also a great way to start the day. Try integrating breathing exercises into your daily routine – it’s good practice for the whole family!
For helpful tips from our Occupational Therapy team, including more breathing exercises and techniques to help calm your child, check out @mebefamily on Instagram and Facebook and visit the MeBe Family YouTube channel.