Short description of activity: Each child has a stuffed animal on their tummy for this breathing exercise.
Type of activity: Mindfulness and Self-regulation
Minimum Time Needed for Activity: 2 Min
Grade Level: K- 6th
Subject Area: N/A
- Floor space
- Favorite stuffed animals (hands can work as well)
- Find a spot on the floor for each child.
- Have each child place a stuffed animal (or hands) on their belly
- Ask children to lie comfortably and place their hands or their animal on their bellies.
- Teacher counts to three and children inhale deeply through their noses.
- Tell the children to fill their bellies with air as they inhale; their belly should get bigger and bigger as you count to three. If you are using stuffed animals, they may see it rise as their belly fills with air.
- Tell students to exhale slowly as you count to four.
- Tell the children that they might notice their belly shrinking as they let their breath out slowly.
- Do five to ten rounds of belly-breathing to get started.
- It can be helpful to ask children how they feel.
- Is there a difference in how you feel?
- What did you notice about the stuffed animal or your hands and you inhaled and exhaled?
- How did it feel to let your breath out?
- Soothing music can help keep children calm during this exercise
- Younger children may benefit from being told that their stuffed animal needs to be rocked to sleep.
- For children who struggle to focus, you can tell them to silently say “up/in” each time they breath in and “down/out” each time they breathe out.