These easy to understand breathing exercises are designed specifically for kids.
You know that look in his eye. You hear that tone in her voice. You can feel when your child is getting anxious and worked-up. When my sweet, strong-willed daughter was a preschooler we learned one of the best ways to prevent a meltdown was to have her take a few deep breaths.
Of course, asking your child to simply take a deep breath doesn't really work. Sometimes when my daughter is really upset, I ask her to take a drink of water (here's why). Then I'll hold her and take a few deep breaths on my own before asking her to join in. After practicing the techniques below, she started to naturally take deep breaths without me having to ask her.
Below are three playful ways to get your child to take some long and slow calming breaths with you.
3 Breathing Exercises for Kids
1. If you've got a Star Wars fan on your hands, ask your child to: BREATHE IN as if they are sucking the air through a straw and BREATHE OUT as if they are Darth Vader.
2. In the Cosmic Kids Yoga Series instructors encourage kids to wiggle their noses like a rabbit and take a "bunny breath" IN and then BREATHE OUT fire like a dragon.
Click here for 3 Family-Friendly Yoga Resources.
3. Another wonderful meditative-approach to deep breathing is to ask your child to BREATHE IN blue skies and BREATHE OUT gray skies.
BONUS TIP: The Birthday Candle Game
Another fun way to get your kids to do a bit of deep breathing with you is to play the Birthday Candle Game. Make a fist and hold up your thumb. Now ask your child to "blow out the candle." As your child blows, wiggle your thumb as if it is a candle flickering in the wind. Slowly bring your thumb down as if they candle is extinguished. When your child stops blowing, make a loud "POP" sound with your lips, and flick your thumb back up. Let your little one know, "Looks like you need to try again." Eventually, this is a guaranteed giggle. Be sure to "stop while the going is good," you don't want to cause additional frustration.
What calming tricks do you use at your house? Let's chat in the comments.