Best Breathing Exercises for Kids
March 01, 2021, Publisher: Breath Hub
Regular practice of breathing exercises leads to positive results for people of all ages. Teaching breathing exercises to kids not only improves their quality of life but it can also help them gain correct breathing habits that will last a lifetime.
Essentially, we breathe correctly from the moment we are born, but in the following years, we may lose this natural ability for various reasons.
Impairment of this natural breathing rhythm sparks problems. Children with poor breathing habits may become more vulnerable to disorders like attention deficit and hyperactivity. They may also have difficulty maintaining emotional control and emotional balance.
Benefits of breathing exercises for kids
Beginning from the age of 4, children can participate in breathing exercises with age-appropriate games and activities. At 6-7 years of age, kids begin to have a much better grasp on breathwork.
The ability to breathe correctly can be obtained if the breathing techniques learned at an early age are repeated regularly. Therefore, breathing exercises for children are more than just an enjoyable time to relax and blow off some steam during the day.
Correct breathing habits not only help prevent a variety of disorders but also support the child's physical, mental and emotional development. The child who breathes properly in daily life becomes more peaceful, more attentive, and more competent in emotional control.
What should a breathing exercise for kids be like?
When working with children, using images is much more effective than focusing on concepts. Visualization exercises that stimulate the imagination work wonders with kids. Also, including their favourite toy in the activity keeps their interest alive throughout the practice. Making use of visual or auditory stimuli during the exercise also increases the efficacy of the results.
Best breathing exercises for kids
Here are some of the best breathing exercises to practice with children.
- This exercise supported with visual stimuli is a very enjoyable introduction to breath awareness. It guides the child through the movement of deep diaphragmatic breathing. In this exercise, the child lies on his back in a comfortable place. His favourite toy is placed on his stomach, and he is told to watch the toy moving up and down as he breathes naturally.
- This exercise stimulates the imagination and facilitates awareness about diaphragmatic breathing. In the balloon breathing exercise, the child sits comfortably upright and cross-legged, keeping her eyes closed. She places her hands on her stomach and focuses on her breathing. She is told to imagine a balloon in her belly that inflates with every inhale and deflates with every exhale.
- This is a group exercise that should be done with at least three children and one adult. It is essential for the effectiveness of the exercise that the adult observes the movements of the children and ensures that everyone is in the correct position.The first child lies flat on his back with straight legs and stretches his arms parallel to his body. The second child also lies down and gently places her head on the first child's stomach. The other child similarly joins the 'ladder'. Then they are told to feel the entire 'ladder' breathing in and out at the same time.
Breathing with Sound
- This exercise accompanied by auditory stimuli helps to focus on the exhale. The child sits in a cross-legged position and places her hands on her lap. She takes a deep breath and makes a sound as she exhales. You can select the sound and ask her to repeat it. Sounds like HA, AH, OO, MM, ZZ are very suitable for this exercise. Kids thoroughly enjoy animal breathing exercises such as snake breath and bee breath. They can have fun breathing out hissing or buzzing while they learn deep, controlled breathing.
- This exercise helps the child improve his concentration. He is asked to imagine he's inflating a bicycle tire with his breath. This helps teach the kid to focus on full, deep breaths in and out. Then he is told to take a couple of rapid, revitalizing breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Of course, every child is different; an exercise that is very effective for one may not be for another. You can decide which works best for the child by experimenting with different exercises as you go along. Do not forget to practice the exercises regularly to get better results.