10 Fun Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids

/ December 17, 2020

You can’t always be there for your child to remind them that things aren’t as worrisome as they may think, or that they can excel in any given situation with the right mindset. However, you can always teach them self-sufficient methods to cope with for those times when you’re not around.

What are Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids?

By Lisa Caprelli

Deep breathing exercises for kids and breathing cards are intended to help kids control their breathing pattern in ways that makes it easy for them. Controlling your breathing pattern has known scientific benefits to it, such as calming the nerves, promoting rationality during times of distress, regulating your heart rate during times of intense activity (e.g., sports and performances), and even enhancing digestion.

10 breathing exercises for kids

Breathing exercises are especially important for children who suffer from respiratory complications, such as asthma.

Practicing breathing routines is also crucial for children who do not as even the most capable athlete is prone to exhaustion and mental fatigue if they push themselves too much.

Why Teach Breathing Exercises to Kids?

Deep breathing has a lot to do with a person’s social-emotional well-being. By teaching our kids early on to take a step back to get their thoughts together, we are also teaching our kids the art of mindfulness as well.

When a child gets upset or goes through a bout of anxiety, deep breathing can instantly be applied to promote a better mood, and therefore a clearer perspective.

Listed below are 10 creative deep breathing techniques that parents, teachers and educators can teach children.

Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids

Bear Breathing:

  • Close your eyes and picture yourself as a bear sleeping comfortably in a warm place through the winter.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose for 5 seconds.
  • Hold for 3 seconds.
  • Then slowly and deeply exhale through your mouth for 5 seconds.

Bubble Breathing:

  • Close your eyes and pretend that you are blowing bubbles through a wand.
  • Just as you would with a regular bubble wand, simply inhale deeply through your nose before letting out a nice, slow breath to get your bubbles as big as possible.

unicorn breathing exercise for kids ages 6 to 8

Unicorn Breathing:

  • Close your eyes and imagine that you are a Unicorn with a musical tail for a note.
  • Take 5 short and quick inhales through your nose.
  • With each inhale imagine calm piano music playing in the background.

Horse Breathing:

  • Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose for 3 seconds.
  • Hold for 4 seconds.
  • Then exhale through your mouth while flapping your lips like a horse for as long as you can!

Snake Breaths:

  • Inhale slowly through your nose for 7 seconds.
  • Hold for 4 seconds.
  • Exhale through your mouth while making a hissing noise for as long as you can.

Dragon Breathing:

  • Close your eyes and slowly inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold for 3 seconds.
  • Pretend to breathe fire out of your mouth as you exhale a huge roar for 6 seconds!

Smelling Flowers Breathing:

  • Close your eyes and pretend that you are holding a flower.
  • Inhale the sweet-scented flower slowly through your nose for 5 seconds
  • As soon as you finish inhaling, take a nice and slow breath out through your mouth for as long as you can.
  • Repeat 5 times.

deep breathing exercises for kids birthday cake

Birthday Cake Breaths:

  • Close your eyes and imagine a birthday cake with lots of candles.
  • Take one big inhale through your nose as you get ready to blow out ALL the candles at once.
  • Hold for 3 seconds (WISH for something)
  • Blow a huge exhale out through your mouth to blow out the candles!

Darth Vader Breathing:

  • Close your eyes and imagine that you have a straw in your mouth to breath through.
  • Inhale through the straw in your mouth for 5 seconds.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Exhale while you make a whirring noise like Darth Vader, breathing heavy as you pretend to breathe out through the straw.

Rainbow Breathing:

  • Close your eyes with your hands to your side. Pretend that each arm is one end of a rainbow.
  • As you inhale slowly through your nose, raise up your arms until your fingers touch above your head.
  • Hold for 3 seconds.
  • Slowly lift your arms down to your sides as you exhale slowly through your mouth.

More Ways to Make Deep Breathing Fun & Enjoyable

Any of these breathing techniques can be repeated as many times as needed. Using props is also heavily encouraged and can be used to make practicing all the more fun!

For example, you can use actual bubble wands and fluid for bubble breathing, straws for Darth Vader breaths.

Use a hand-drawn picture of a rainbow for the rainbow breathing exercise. Simply use your finger to trace over a shade of color on the rainbow while inhaling through your nose.  Then when you get to the end of that shade, begin tracing the next one with your finger while exhaling through your mouth. Repeat until you get to the end of the rainbow!

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