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Breathing practice for young children

Breathing techniques are a relaxation skill children can learn to regulate their emotions at a young age. Deep breathing helps children work through their emotions (angry, sad, scared...), and helps build emotional competence. And, as a bonus, taking some deep breaths with your child encourages healthy attachment between you.


Try some of these fun techniques to practice deep breathing with your child:


Bubble breath

  • Imagine you have a wand to blow bubbles.

  • Take a deep breath in through your nose.

  • Slowly breathe out through your mouth as if you are blowing a bubble through a wand.

  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

  • Remind your child not to blow too hard, or they will pop the bubble!

Rainbow breathing

  • Imagine a rainbow in the air in front of you.

  • Move your finger from left to right to trace the rainbow as you inhale slowly through your nose.

  • Move your finger from right to left to trace the rainbow as you exhale slowly through your mouth.

  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

Soup breathing

  • Imagine holding a bowl of hot soup in your hands.

  • Slowly breathe in through your nose to smell the delicious soup.

  • Slowly breathe out through your mouth to cool the hot soup.

  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

Dragon breaths

  • Sit cross-legged or kneeling with your spine long.

  • Breathe in through your nose.

  • Breathe out through your mouth whispering a roar while opening your eyes and mouth wide.

  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

Balloon breathing

  • You can sit or stand up.

  • Place both hands on top of your head.

  • Begin to breathe in and out slowly. As you inhale, raise your arms above your head, like you are blowing up a balloon. When your lungs are full of air, your arms should look like a big, round balloon on top of your head.

  • As you exhale, slowly bring your hands back down toward your head.

  • Repeat as many times as necessary.


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