5 Mindful Breathing Exercises for Kids

Breathing exercises are a very effective technique for calming the body and mind – and they work for both children and adults. Below are a few of my favorite breathing exercises to do with children, with creative visualizations and playful elements to make them more engaging. The same techniques work for adults, and I encourage you to try them on your own as well!

A playlist of video demonstrations of the 5 breathing exercises below

Bunny Breath

This is an energizing breath that helps increase oxygen flow to the brain to help with concentration and focus. To make this more playful for younger children you can make bunny paws with your hands.

-Sit in a comfortable seat

-Take 3 quick breaths in through your nose so your nose wiggles like a rabbit

-Exhale through the mouth


Lion’s Breath

Lion’s Breath provides a nice stretch for the face, jaw, and neck. It is a cleansing breath that releases stale air and is excellent for helping children get out energy. This is also a great exercise for releasing negative emotions and encouraging emotional regulation.

-Sit on heels

-Raise the hands in front of you, stretch the fingers wide

-Inhale through the nose

-Stick your tongue out very far and sigh out an exhale as you squeeze the finger tips in

Bumble Bee Breath

Bumble Bee Breath helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the body and mind. The final step of this exercise helps block out external distractions and focus inward.

-Sit in a comfortable seat

-Inhale through the nose

-Exhale and make a gentle buzzing sound like a bee

-Repeat – you can encourage the children to change from a ‘buzz’ to an ‘mmmm’ sound if that’s easier

-Repeat again and cover ears with hands to feel the ‘buzzing’ more and focus inwardly

Belly Balloon Breath

This breathing exercise develops deep, belly breathing that is good for calming the mind. Belly Balloon Breath helps manage anxiety and stress.

-Sit or lay down on the back

-Inhale through the nose and imagine you are blowing the belly up like a balloon

-Feel the belly expand outward

-Use your pointer finger to ‘pop’ the balloon and sigh out the exhale through the mouth

Birthday Candle Breath

Birthday Candle Breath helps children calm down when they are frustrated or overwhelmed. Use your fingers as candles to count down the breaths.

-Sit or stand in any comfortable position

-Hold all 5 fingers out in front of you

-Inhale through the nose

-Exhale forcefully through the mouth like you are blowing out a candle

-Lower one finger down

-Continue to blow out the ‘rest’ of the candles one by one

Try out some of these techniques with your child in one of my Virtual Kid’s Yoga Classes. Do you have a favorite breathing technique? Comment below!

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