I love doing breathing techniques with the children I work with. Our breath is the quickest way to connect with our brains. Our breath sends messages to our brain to tell it that we are calm and relaxed, so the more breathing techniques we do, the more breaths we take, the calmer we are. However, I teach kids, so to start with they aren’t going to sit there and sit still to do their breathing, It may take a little while to get the hang of it and that’s ok. I also help them by bringing lots of items that we can use to practise our breathing- bring in the laughter whilst having lots of fun!
My top 3 items are:
- Hoberman sphere
Not only is a Hoberman sphere extremely colourful and inviting but the movement it makes can really help support the kids practising breathing in and out. You can also control the speed in which you move the sphere in and out, providing lots of fun! I get my kids to watch the sphere and concentrate on the movement, when I pull it out we breath in imagining we are filling our lungs, and as I push it in, we are releasing all the air out of our bodies. Obviously the slower you go, the deeper the breath the kids take but I like to throw in some short, fast ones to see if my kids are focusing!
I always have a handy bag of colourful feathers. I give each child one and ask them to hold it in their hand, they then focus on the feather whilst taking a deep breath in, and as they breathe out, they blow onto the feather and watch it move. This particular way of using feathers is also one of our mindful activities too!
Now, when we are teaching kids breathing techniques, I always feel it’s important to give them strategies that they can use anytime, anywhere as this helps with self regulation and emotional management. Our hands are attached to us and we can also use this technique discreetly if needed. All you are going to do is put your fingers together and trace the outline of your hand. Starting on the inside of your hand, move your index upwards towards the top of your hand, this is your inhale, as you get to the top of your longest finger, you are then going to trace down or move down the other side of your hand and breath out. You can do this as many times as you want! Kids can then use this whenever they want, wherever they are, they don’t need to have specific items!
Why not have a go? Which ones do your kids love?
For more breathing techniques and ideas, why not do our 1 hour breath training? Check it out here: https://minimeyoga.com/product/breath-training/
About Vicki Readings
Vicki Readings is a Mini Me Yoga Ambassador for Mini Me Yoga Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire. As a trained Counsellor, Vicki has a passion and focus on well-being and mental health. Alongside this, Vicki is a trained Primary School Teacher and part of the International and UK team, working with schools and professionals to provide children and staff with tools and techniques to support their well-being and allow them to be less pressured.