Saturday, March 16, 2019

5 Calm Down Breathing Techniques for Kids

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How to teach deep breathing to kids using these 5 awesome calm down breathing techniques.

One skill that we have been working on teaching to both of my boys is calm down breathing, specifically fun ways to practice deep breathing.

It's easy to turn to your child and remind them to take some deep breaths while a meltdown is imminent, but most kids do quick, shallow breaths. Unfortunately, shallow breaths don't do much to regulate our bodies.

Instead, we need to take long, deep breaths from the bottom of our bellies to really calm our bodies down.

Long, mindful breaths.

So...I've been getting creative in the ways in which I teach my kids to take deep breaths lately.

And honestly? I like having a wide variety of tools at my disposal because some days one technique will work perfectly and the next day, it will fall completely flat. And some techniques work better for one kid than the other.

Parenting is all about trial and error it seems. Right?

Well, here are just 5 of the simple calm down breathing exercises for kids that we have been doing at our house. These deep breathing exercises will help your kids regulate their bodies when they're feeling overwhelmed.

5 calm down breathing techniques for kids

Calm Down Breathing Technique #1: Rainbow Breathing

This breathing technique is all about stretching up and out as you paint the colors of the rainbow across the sky. Here's how to do rainbow breathing:

  1. Breathe in as you slowly raise both arms straight up above your shoulders.
  2. Hold your breath and arms up for 3-5 seconds.
  3. Breathe out as you slowly lower your arms until they are level with your shoulders.

Calm Down Breathing Technique #2: Elevator Breathing

Imagine you are in the lobby of a building and you spot an elevator. You're going to get into the elevator and ride it all the way up to the top floor and then ride it all the way back down. Here's how to do elevator breathing:

  1. Sit tall in a chair or sit cross-legged on the floor and place one hand, with palm facing down, on your lap.
  2. Stack your other hand, with palm facing down, on top of your other hand. 
  3. While breathing in slowly, raise your top hand up to your chin as if it is an elevator. 
  4. Hold your breath and your hand, imagining people exiting the elevator, for 3-5 seconds. 
  5. Breathe out as you slowly lower your hand back to its original starting position.

Calm Down Breathing Technique #3: Take Five Breathing

Count to five because everything's going to be all right! Here's how to do take five breathing:

  1. Make a fist. 
  2. Breathe in and out. 
  3. Stick out your thumb. 
  4. Breathe in and out. 
  5. Stick out your index finger. 
  6. Breathe in and out. 
  7. Stick out your middle finger. 
  8. Breathe in and out. 
  9. Stick out your ring finger. 
  10. Breathe in and out. 
  11. Stick out your pinky finger. 

Calm Down Breathing Technique #4: Snake Breathing

My son's favorite animal is a snake so get ready to hiss like a snake because it feels so good to let it all out. Here's how to do snake breathing:

  1. Breathe in.
  2. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
  3. Make a hissing sound as you breathe out.

Calm Down Breathing Technique #5: Square Breathing

It's hip to be square, but it's even more hip to be calm and relaxed. Here's how to do square breathing:

  1. Use your index finger to quickly draw a square in the air while breathing in slowly.
  2. Draw the same square again while breathing out slowly.

Need More Calm Down Breathing Ideas? Try These!

The five breathing techniques that you just read about, along with 20 other ideas, can be found in the ebook 25 Calm Down Breathing Exercises for Kids.

Or you can grab a copy of the printable Calm Down Breathing Cards to have them handy for on the go, at home, or at school.

Other Ideas You'll Love

Free Printable List of 100 Calm Down Strategies

Free Printable Visual Calm Down Cards

How to Create the Perfect Calm Down Corner

5 calm down breathing techniques for kids