Teaching kids about their breath can empower them to use this effective self-regulation skill when they are feeling stressed, anxious, angry or just full of energy. The great thing is, the breath is always with us so we can use it anytime or anywhere! When we learn to pay attention to our breath, we learn to pay attention to the moment. When we become aware that we are feeling overwhelmed with an emotion or absorbed with our thoughts connecting with our breath teaches us to come back to the moment and to our bodies. It’s then that we can practice self-regulation. Teaching kids to breathe fully and deeply can actually help them activate their parasympathetic nervous system, which induces relaxation and receptivity. When the mind and body are calm we’re able to manage our emotions and solve problems more skillfully.
When I go into my son’s 2nd grade classroom and teach full and deep breathing the Hoberman Sphere AKA “breathing ball” is always a hit! It’s a great visual to use with kids, teaching them diaphragmatic breathing. By the way…teenagers are fascinated by this cool ball too! (See picture above)
Here are the instructions I use:
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