Breathing Exercises for Kids: How to Make a Routine

breathing routine for kids

Daily breathing practice can have a profound impact on your child’s health and wellness. With consistent practice, breathing exercises for kids can help reduce stress, improve lung function, increase circulation, and boost concentration. These exercises can be simple and fun – and you’ll notice a difference right away!

Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective.

breathing routine for kids
Why Practice Deep Breathing for Kids?

Deep breathing is an essential part of teaching kids the art of self-care. Our breathing habits are a simple way we can immediately change the way we feel mentally and physically.

Here’s why deep breathing for kids is so important:

  • In modern life, we tend to spend a lot of time sitting. Without realizing it, our breathing ends up being very shallow.
  • Shallow breathing denies our bodies the life-giving oxygen we need to function at our best.
  • We also face more chronic stress than ever, which can cause us to take quick, shallow breaths.
  • Quick and shallow breathing also triggers stress in the body, so this can become a negative cycle.
calming routine for kids

Deep breathing stops this cycle in its tracks:

  • As soon as we focus on deep breathing, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the anti-stress part of our nervous system that helps us calm down.
  • With just a few slow, deep breaths, we increase oxygen levels throughout the body. This increases concentration and lowers blood pressure.
  • Over time, deep breathing practice can increase endurance, reduce breathlessness, and even improve asthma symptoms.
 How Often Should You Practice Breathing Exercises for Kids?

Ideally, we should all practice deep breathing every day for about 5-10 minutes. This strengthens our lungs and helps develop the habit of deep breathing more throughout the day.

For kids, this amount of daily practice can be a little much at first. It’s best to start with a fun 1-2 minute practice and gradually build up to five or more minutes every day.

 When is a good time to practice deep breathing for kids?

Any time is a good time for deep breathing! The best way to make practice easy to remember is to add it to something you already do every day. You can practice in the car when switching between activities, or before naps or bedtime.

bedtime breathing routine
Try These Fun Breathing Exercises for Kids

 The best breathing exercises for kids make it a fun and easy practice. Here are a few of my favorite ways to teach deep breathing:

Dragon Fire Breaths

dragon breath
  1. Imagine you’re an incredible, fire-breathing dragon.
  2. Begin by exhaling all the air out through your mouth.
  3. Next, take a slow, inhale through your nose.
  4. Exhale slowly through the mouth. 

Imagine you’re breathing out the fire as you exhale.

 Bumblebee Breathing

Bumble Bee breathing exercise for kids
  1. Imagine you’re a curious bumblebee.
  2. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose.
  3. Now, exhale while making a buzzing sound like a bumblebee.
  4. Buzzing naturally slows down the breath and helps you focus on a slow exhale.

 Ocean Breathing

ocean breathing for kids
  1. Picture yourself on a sandy beach in front of a vast, blue ocean.
  2. Take a slow, deep inhale and picture the ocean waves coming toward you.
  3. Slowly exhale, imagining the waves going back out to the sea.

 Rising Buddy Breaths

breathing buddy breathing exercise for kids
  1. Place your favorite stuffed animal or BE Buddy® on your belly.
  2. Inhale slowly through the nose, watching your buddy rise into the air as your belly rises.
  3. Slowly exhale, watching your buddy go back down as your belly falls.

 Open Hand Breathing

open hand breathing exercise for kids
  1. Hold out a closed hand.
  2. Inhale slowly through the nose, opening the hand slowly until it’s completely stretched out.
  3. Now, exhale slowly while closing the hand gradually back into a fist.

 Choose a couple of your favorite exercises from the list above and repeat them 3-5 times each with your child.

Want to learn more?

 Here are some of my other posts about healthy breathing habits for kids:

Raising Vibrant Kids Together

 Ready to learn more tools to improve your child’s emotional wellness? Click here to grab my free ebook and help your child become more calm, connected, and resilient.

 Thanks for reading,

🧡 Stephanie Esser | Owner at Balancing Elephants | BE Buddy® (watch video

P.S. A gift for you!  Help your kids breathe well to BE well with our one-of-a-kind mindful breathing pillow.  Head to our shop and get $5 off  + FREE shipping your order.  Use code “BLOG5OFF” at checkout. 

stephanie esser breathing coach at balancing elephants
MA.Ed., Certified BREATHE™ Coach, RYT200, Yoga Calm® Youth Instructor I help kids surf the waves of life, one breath at a time!