Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support
Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support 

Mindful Breathing Activities For Kids 

Children with sensory differences ... painting the world beautiful.  

Mindful Breathing Activities For Kids 

Jeanette Loftus 

boy with sensory processing disorder and ADHD practicing mindful breathing techniques and exercises Mindful Breathing Activities For Kids
When we are breathing, we don't usually think about it. Mindful breathing is when you become aware of your breathing and how you use your breathing to calm your mind and your body. Mindful breathing exercises are a powerful tool for children and adults too.  Mindful techniques are really great for children who are learning to manage their emotions or anxiety.   

Picture a balloon filling up with air slowly, then picture slowly letting the air out of the balloon. This is what mindful breathing is like too. Mindful breathing is paying attention to your breathing, taking notice how it feels as it goes in and out of your lungs and letting go of any thoughts that may be distracting or upsetting. 

There are a lot of un and engaging ways that children can learn mindful breathing activities. 

Balloon Breathing is when you imagine your belly is like a balloon and as you breathe in, your belly gently expands like the balloon filling up. As you breathe out, your belly gently shrinks like the balloon deflating.
Smelling flowers, blowing Out the candles breathing techniques are when your child takes a deep breath in, imagining they are smelling a flower. Then, ask your child to exhale slowly, pretending to blow out birthday candles.
Counting your breaths is when you have your child breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and breathe out for a count of four. Practice counting together and increase slowly the count as they get more comfortable.
Mindful breathing can be practiced anytime and anywhere with your children. Here are some great times you could add mindful breathing to your child's everyday visual schedule so they know when to expect them.   
Before bed is a great time to calm the mind and prepare for sleep. 
Before they eat a meal to help them focus in the moment and enjoy their food
During times of stress to help manage your child's big or overwhelming emotions like anger, sadness, or anxiety
Whenever they need a moment to feel calm like during a challenging activity or when feeling overwhelmed
Here are some fun and engaging techniques to help kids learn mindful breathing:

Belly Breathing with Stuffed Animals: Have your child place a stuffed animal on their belly and observe how the animal moves up and down with each breath.
Bubbles Breathing with Soap Bubbles: Blow bubbles together and encourage your child to focus on the breath needed to blow each bubble. 
Mindful breathing offers numerous benefits for children:   
Reduces stress and anxiety: Teaching kids to manage stress with breathing exercises can help them build resilience and cope with everyday challenges.
Improves focus and concentration: Mindful breathing can help kids stay present and focused, leading to better academic performance and classroom engagement.
Promotes emotional regulation: By becoming aware of their breath, children can learn to identify and manage their emotions more effectively.
Increases self-awareness: Mindful breathing encourages a sense of self-awareness and helps children connect with their bodies and minds.  


Types of Mindful Breathing Exercises & Techniques 

1. Eight (8) Breathing
2. Whale Breathing
3. Snake Breathing
4. Bumblebee Breathing
5. Bunny Breathing
6. Rainbow Breathing
7. Volcano Breathing
8. Flower Breathing
9. Mountain Breathing
10. Teddy Bear Breathing
11. Square Breathing
12. Star Breathing
13. Five Finger Breathing
14. Pinwheel Breathing
15. Feather Breathing
16. Triangle Breathing
17. Balloon Breathing
18. Shoulder Roll Breathing
19. Fall Leaf Breathing
20. Soup Breathing
21. Blow Out The Candle Breathing
22. Elephant Breathing
23. Dragon Breathing
24. Bubble Breathing

Feather Breathing 

You will need feathers for feather breathing. You can use the colorful craft feathers from the dollar store or you can order from Amazon. Ask your child to hold a feather in their hand, taking a deep breath in while you count to 3. 1-2-3. Then ask your child to breathe out slowly down one side of the feather and down the other side of the feather. Your child can also take a deep breath in while they move their finger up the feather and down the other side too. 
Feather breathing young boy holding feather being mindful mindful activities for children

Triangle Breathing 

You or your child can draw a picture of a triangle as a visual for your child to do triangle breathing.  Once they are familiar with the exercise they can just visualize the triangle to do it. 
Starting at the bottom left point of the triangle, have your child trace their finger on the line going up one side of the triangle, taking a deep breath and holding it for 3 seconds as they slide down the triangle. Then as they slide across the bottom of the triangle exhaling. Repeat this until they are feeling calm.  
little boy in red shirt triangle breathing mindful activities for children

Bunny Breathing 

Bunny breathing can be fun for smaller children. To start, ask your child to pretend to be a bunny while holding a pretend carrot or a real one. Sniffing in air in their nose 3 times to smell the carrot. (1 sniff, 2 sniffs and 3 sniffs) Then ask your child to breath out the air slowly through their nose. (1 slow breath) Repeat until feeling calm. 
little girl with bunny mindful activities for children

Mountain Breathing 

Your child can do mountain breathing while standing up or sitting down. To start, ask your child to inhale through their nose and raise their arms high above their head trying to reach the sky. Then get your child to bring their hands together above their head and ask your child to imagine they are as tall as the biggest mountain. Keeping their feet together ask them to imagine their feet are roots and they are so tall and strong. Then ask your child to exhale through their mouth while bringing their hands down. Repeat a few times until they are feeling calmer.  
little both next to a mountain mountain breathing mindful activities for children

Teddy Bear Breathing 

Teddy bear breathing is an easy and fun breathing technique for children. Ask your child to lay down on their back and get comfortable. Ask them to take their teddy bear and place it on their belly. Inhaling slowly and exhaling slowly. Ask your child to focus on their teddy bear, watching it go up and down as they breathe. Repeat several times until they are focused and calm. 
small child a girl holding a teddy bear teddy bear breathing activity mindful activities for children

Square Breathing 

Square breathing is also known as box breathing. It is quite similar to the triangle breathing technique. Use a picture of a square box as a visual for your child. After they are familiar with this breathing technique they will visualize without the picture. Ask your child to slide their finger up the left side of the square getting them to inhale while you count to 4. Holding their breath as they slide across the top of the square and exhaling as they slide their finger down the right ride of the square and then holding their breath as they slide their finger across the bottom of the square. Repeat a few times until your child is feeling calm and relaxed.  
little child a boy in green shirt meditating doing yoga or mindful activity square breathing mindful activities for children

Star Breathing 

Star breathing is a lot like square and triangle breathing. Use a picture as a visual for your child of a star and after they are familiar with the star they will be able to visualize the star and do the breathing activity on their own. 
Ask your child to breathe in along the line of the star, holding for 3 seconds at the point and then breathing out along the next line. Repeating this for the full star pattern. Your child can repeat this a couple of times until they are feeling calm. 
child holding a star star breathing mindful activities for children

Blow Out The Candle Breathing 

Ask your child to pretend they are blowing out the candles on their birthday cake. Taking a deep breath through their nose and breathing out through their mouth blowing out the candles.
little girl with blond hair and pink short being mindful candle breathing mindful activities for children

Eight (8) Breathing 

Draw an 8 on a piece of paper, ask your child to turn it sideways. Start in the center of the lazy 8, ask your child to trace their finger around the right side of the 8 as they are taking in a deep breath. When they get back to the center of the 8 again, breath out a deep breath while they are tracing their finger back to the center of the lazy 8. 
boy child sitting doing yoga and being mindful eight 8 breathing mindful activities for children

Whale Breathing 

Ask your child to sit up tall and take a deep breath in, holding it in while counting to 5 with their finger over their mouth. Ask them to tilt their head back and blow their breath out of the blow hole. 
a blue whale for whale breathing mindful activities for children

Snake Breathing 

Snake breathing can be fun for kids. Ask your child to take a deep breath in and then letting their breath out while hissing quietly like a snake. 
green snake for snake mindful breathing activity mindful activities for children

Bumblebee Breathing 

Get your child to sit comfortably. Ask them to carefully put a finger in each of their ears and close their eyes. Ask them to breathe in through their nose watching their belly get full of air and then ask them to buzz softly like a bumble bee as they breathe out the air. Repeat a few times until your child is feeling calm.  
beautiful big bumblebee yellow and brown bumblebee breathing mindful activities for children

Five Finger Breathing 

Have your child stretch one of their hands open and hold up their pointer finger on their other hand. Starting at the bottom of their thumb, get them to trace each finger and they breathe in. When they reach the top of the finger breathing out. Repeat for all fingers and a few times until they are feeling calm. 
child with blond hair and blue shirt five finger breathing mindful activities for children

Pinwheel Breathing

Pinwheel breathing is a great mindful breathing activity for children.  It can be done while sitting down or standing up, although you will need a pinwheel for your child to do this activity. Get your child to take a deep breath through their nose and then slowly breathe out blowing on the pinwheel watching the pinwheel spin. They can repeat this a few times until they are calm. Pinwheels can be found at some dollar stores and also available on Amazon
a toddler child blowing on pinwheel for pinwheel breathing mindful activities for children

Volcano Breathing 

Ask your child to put their hands together. Breathe in and pushing their hands above their head holding their breath for a moment. Ask them to then breathe out as they bring their arms down to their sides like an exploding volcano. Ask them to repeat this a few times until they are feeling calm.
boy creating volcano wearing teal shirt and happy mindful activities for children

Elephant Breathing

Ask your child to stand with their feet apart and their arms dangling in front of them like the trunk of an elephant. As they breathe in deeply through their nose get them to raise their arms up high above their head. Then slowly swinging their arms down again as they breathe out through their mouth. Your child can repeat this several times until they are feeling calm.
blue elephant pink ears elephant breathing mindful activities for children

Dragon Breathing 

Dragon breathing can be a fun breathing activity for children. Your child can be seated or standing while doing dragon breathing. Ask your child to take a deep breath in and when they breathe out ask them to roar like a dragon. They can do this a few times until feeling relaxed and calm. 
child riding on a dragon dragon breathing mindful activities for children

Balloon Breathing 

Ask your child to imagine they have a balloon in their belly. As they breathe through their nose, their balloon gets bigger. When they breathe out of their mouth, their balloon deflates. They can repeat balloon breathing several times watching their balloon inflate and deflate. 
little girl blowing up a balloon balloon breathing mindful activities for children

Bubble Breathing 

Ask your child to sit down and pretend to be blowing bubbles through a bubble wand. Inhaling deeply through their nose and blowing out slowly as they are blowing bubbles through the bubble wand trying to blow the biggest bubbles they can blow. They can repeat this several times. For fun, you can try this breathing activity with real bubbles.
girl blow up a huge bubble for bubble breathing mindful activities for children

Flower Breathing 

Ask your child to pretend that they are holding a big flower in their hand. As they breathe in to smell the flower, hold for a second and as they breathe out blow the petals off of the flower. This is also a great breathing activity for kids to try while they are outside with a real flower. 
happy young boy holding a sunflower flower breathing mindful activities for children

Shoulder Roll Breathing 

Ask your child to sit and get in a comfortable position. As they take a deep breath in through their nose, raise their shoulders up towards their ears. Breath slowly out through their mouth lowering their shoulders while they are exhaling. They can repeat this breathing activity a few times until they are feeling calmer. 
boy doing yoga and mindful shoulder roll mindful activities for children

Fall Leaf Breathing 

For this fall leaf breathing activity you can draw a fall leaf or you can use a real leaf that has fallen off of the tree in the fall. Ask your child to hold the leaf in one hand and using their pointer finger from their other hand to slide up and down the leaf as they are breathing. Sliding up one point of the leaf while breathing in, then hold at the point and breathe out sliding their finger down and then hold at the point. Repeat this all around the leaf and a few times until your child is feeling calm. 
child holding a paper with different leaves on it fall leaf breathing mindful activities for children

Rainbow Breathing 

Rainbow breathing is a great visual deep breathing exercise for kids. Draw, paint or color a rainbow. You can also print one off from online too. Your rainbow can be four colors or six colors, that's up to you. Ask your child to put their finger at the bottom of the rainbow and trace across the first color taking a deep breath through their nose. When they can to the top of the color ask them the finish sliding their finger down breathing out slowly through their mouth. Repeat with each color of the rainbow. Your child can do this until they are feeling calm and relaxed. Your child may want to try using a rainbow breathing board.
child pointing to rainbow rainbow breathing mindful activities for children
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DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!