Breathing Games for Children
To get the best out of our breath we should be ‘belly breathing’ where your breath reaches all the way down to your belly and you feel it inflate when you inhale. We should also breathe in through our noses. Mouths are for speaking and eating and if we use our mouths we can over breathe which can lead to many different health problems.
What if we could teach our children these tools so that it is ingrained in them and therefore make them happier and healthier adults. If your child can learn now how to calm themselves with playground or exam angst now, imagine how much better they will be at dealing with stress as an adult. It will also help focus them, calm them, energise them and help them deal with adversity. It will help them to feel better mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
To make this fun for children there are lots of different breathing games they can play. Just a few minutes a day will have a huge impact on your child.
Ping pong balls
Ask your child to lie down on their tummy with their hands by their chest (they are not allowed to use their hands!) roll some ping pong balls towards them and get them to blow them to you. You could also see if they could blow it into a cup. Why not create a competition with their friends or siblings.
Straws and pompoms
Use straws to blow pom poms across the floor!
Experiment with paper, foil and plastic windmills. How fast can they get their windmill to go?
Have a collection of brightly coloured scarves. Children can hold the scarf by their face or place it over their heads and blow. They can then scrunch the scarf up in their hands, throw it as high as they can and then keep blowing it to keep it off the floor. Time them and see how long they can do it for!
Move and breathe
This could be anything from walking while breathing through nose counting breaths with each step or raising arms up to inhale, arms down to exhale or putting them in a yoga pose and asking them to take five deep breaths.
A lovely calming exercise and wonderful before bedtime. Get your favourite smelly cream and place some on their hands. Do a simple hand massage, rubbing palms, pressing fingers etc and as they do this ask them to close their mouths and only breathe through their noses. Notice as they concentrate how their breath slows.
A fun breath game is to pretend to be different animals. Ask children to breathe in deeply through their noses and then as they breathe out they have to make the animal sound. For example, breathe in and exhale hissing like a snake. Other animals could include a bee, a lion, a cow, panting like a dog, the list is endless!
Get outside and blow some bubbles!