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Breathing Exercises for Kids

Wouldn’t you love to give your child a superpower to deal with stress? Good news, your child is born with a superpower—their breath. Now you can empower them with breathing exercises, especially for kids.

These practices can be life-changing. They’re for kids of all ages—and the kid in all of us.

When your child is feeling happy, sad, or anxious, it is reflected in their breath. Our breath is always with us, so let’s make it the best it can be.

“In case of an emergency. stop, drop and roll… and take a breath!”
—Missy Brown

Missy Brown instructor breathing exercises for kids

Meet Missy, a pioneer in the field of yoga and mindfulness for kids. After teaching preschool for many years, Missy founded the school, Deep Play for Kids. She has trained more than 500 professionals who have taught kid-friendly breathing exercises to thousands of children. One child at a time, one breath at a time. Let’s give our children tools to have an abundant life.

image on breathing exercises for kids

4 Playful Breathing Exercises for Kids

(Taken from “Breath Breaks with Missy,” 46 simple and engaging breathing exercises.)

1. Bear Breath

breathing exercises for kids- hibernating bear breath

Breathe your way to quiet like a hibernating bear. This is an opportunity to go inside, find connection, quiet and calm.

Open your palms ~ These are the caves.

Tuck in your thumbs ~ These are the bears going inside.

Gently wrap your other 4 fingers around the ‘bears’ ~ making a soft fist.

Place your resting bears on your lap.

Invite the bears to take a rest with some slow breaths in and some long breaths out, slow breaths in and long breaths out.

Related: How to be a Fun, Playful Parent… in Less Than a Minute (Like Mary Poppins)

2. Balloon Breath

breathing exercises for kids-balloon breath

Find a comfortable way to sit or lay down.

Imagine there is a balloon in your belly. It can be any color you choose.

Place your hands gently on your belly and as you take a breath in, feel your belly get big like blowing up a balloon. As you let your breath go, feel your belly come back like deflating a balloon.

Repeat this a few times and if you would like, try closing your eyes while you practice it.

You can place a secret love message into your balloon and with your breath, imagine those thoughts being sent all over the world! These balloons can be colored for added relaxation.

3. Stop Sign

Practice STOP

4. Square Breath

breathing exercises for kids- Square Breath

Place your tracing finger on a square.

Begin in the lower-left corner of “this square” or this can also be done on a piece of paper, a book, a desk, a paint sample square, or an imaginary square-shaped item on your lap or in the palm of your hand.

Doing this slowly, breathe in as you trace up to the top left corner, breathe out as you trace across from top left to top right, breathe in as you trace from top right to the bottom right, breathe again as you trace back from the bottom right to bottom left where you started.

This can also be done as a soft pause and gentle breath retention by tracing up on an inhale, pause and gently hold your breath as you trace across from the top left to the top right, breath out as you trace from the top right to the bottom right, pause again as you trace back from bottom right to bottom left.

Reduce Stress… Minimize Power Struggles

Another way to reduce your child’s stress is to minimize power struggles. Instead of yelling, learn playful ways to stop struggling with your toddlers and school-age kids.

Learn how with Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It, an entertaining book of 5-minute stories that teaches playful parenting playfully. An Amazon #1 New Release in 7 parenting categories, it’s perfect for busy parents. Only $7.99 (eBook) and $9.99 (paperback) on Amazon.

  Make parenting easier

  Empower kids

♥  Connect families

Want More Parenting Tips?

How to be a Fun, Playful Parent… in Less Than a Minute (Like Mary Poppins)

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Posted in Parenting Tips, Popular Posts


  1. Amanda

    I put my daughter’s favorite stuffed animal on her tummy and have her watch it go up and down with each breath. Once she gets the concept, I take her teddy bear off and have her practice deep breathing. I’m a big believer of mindfulness. These are great breathing exercises! I look forward to trying them.

  2. Karen

    I love your teddy-bear-on-the-tummy idea! Thanks for sharing it. I too am a big advocate of Mindfulness, and it’s wonderful that you’re teaching it to your daughter.

  3. Jennifer

    Great tips! My son is very anxious and I’m always looking for effective ways to help him de-stress. I’m excited to try the hibernating bear technique. Thanks!

  4. Karen

    Hi Jennifer, I totally get it. It’s so hard seeing our children be anxious and upset. I’m glad that you found Missy’s breathing exercises for kids helpful. Here’s to empowering our children and teaching them coping skills. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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