Fun Breathing Exercises for Kids
Through working with some of our SLPS families, our Parent Educators have found the need for finding ways to help them cope with stressful situations that involve themselves and their children. There’s a writer whose name is Sharon Brandwein who specializes in all things parenting. Her work has appeared on ABC News, Parents, Scary Mommy, and motherly. Her passion though is writing about motherhood. Brandwein suggests five fun and easy deep breathing exercises that we also find both parents and children enjoy.
First find a quiet place. Next she suggests getting down to their eye level which signals to them they have your full attention. Make sure you’re making eye contact and speak softly where your message is more likely to be heard and received. Now we can begin. Remember you are your child’s first teacher. It is important for you to model the activity with your child, the rewards are endless. Below are five exercises we find that are most enjoyable.
1. SMELLING FLOWERS: Tell your child to imagine they are smelling maybe a rose or their favorite flower, slowly breathing in deeply through the nose and exhaling gently out through the mouth. Smelling flowers is one of the easiest breathing exercises to master, and a good starting point for your child.
2. THE BUNNY BREATH: Just like a little bunny in the garden, encourage your child to take three quick sniffs in through the nose, and one long exhale out through the mouth.
3. BLOW OUT THE CANDLE: Have your child blow out the candles on a make-believe birthday cake, drawing a deep breath in through the mouth, and blowing it out strong through the mouth as well.
4. BLOWING BUBBLES: Remind your child how softly they need to blow to get a nice big bubble. Encourage them to take a deep breath in and blow it out slow and long.
5. SMELL THE FLOWER AND BLOW OUT THE CANDLE: Have your child pretend that he/she has a flower in one hand and a candle in the other. The first step is smelling the flower, taking a deep breath in through the nose, and slowly filling the lungs with air. Next, have your child exhale and blow out the candle in the other hand.
Parents Educators agree with Sharon Brandwein who recommends “deep breathing exercises can help kids reset, self-regulate, and respond to stress in a healthier way.” Also Brandwein states when your child is angry, frustrated, or anything but calm, you’ll have to remind them to breathe deeply. Make sure you’re making eye contact and speak softly where your message is more likely to be heard and received.
Thanks to SLPS Parent Educator Martha Fennoy for this content!