Inculcating good habits in children is parenting 101 and kids, “looking for fun” is just being themselves. Teaching them breathing exercises is important for them to teach them focus and concentration and even a helps them get control over their emotions, especially for later stages. We don’t want our kids getting frustrated over not giving them their favourite food or fulfilling their wishes at times. Having been able to teach them the right kind of reaction to give at a right time can and could be started at younger age too. With a little bit of fun, they can learn so much.
At the playful age, a kid always looks for fun in everything, be it studies or food. The creativity involved or the excitement helps them become more engaging. Learning the fun way is always multi-beneficial, providing them variety in the experience along with leaving them with the curiosity to do things differently, making them explore the creative side in themselves. For us adults too, breathing exercises are a great way to get a reality check or help put things into perspectives, or simply to calm us down in different situations. And being able to teach our kids the same is a reliable way to soothe an overwhelming time.
Ms. Palak Dengla, Senior Physiotherapist, Aster RV Hospital, shares her views on how to add fun while teaching kids some Breathing Exercises. Below are the simple ways on how to conduct these fun breathing exercises with children.
This exercise involves actually letting the kids observe breathing, where they can see the belly go up and down.
- Place a stuffed toy on the belly while he lies down.
- Ask him to breathe deeply through the nose for the count of 5.
- Again on the count of 5, ask him to breathe out.
- Seeing the stuffed animal swinging up as the kid breaths makes the exercise enjoyable and relaxes too.
Honey Bee Breathing
Honey bee breathing is another fun activity with has a particular benefit of coping with asthma.
- Make the child sit comfortably.
- With the closed mouth, ask him to breathe through the nose.
- While exhaling, one needs to make a humming sound, just like the bumble bee.
- To make it more fun, cover the ears while doing so, which will increase the buzzing sound.
To avoid infections, woodchopper breathing is often suggested for practice. This also reduces tension from the body and helps in decongesting the lungs.
- Raise your hands above the head as you inhale.
- Now, with an extra force, take your hands down as you bend towards the legs and exhale vigorously with your mouth open, like we do for fogging a glass.
- Make sure your head goes down completely as you exhale.
Dragon Breath is a good way to get rid of phlegm from the lungs, in a way, making a clearer path in and around your respiratory tract. It also stretches the rib cage.
- Place the interlaced fingers under the chin.
- Inhale through the nose while raising the elbows, preferably around the neck and face.
- Now, get the elbows down again while exhaling and whistling through the mouth simultaneously.
This involves simultaneous making of rainbow shape with hands/arms while breathing. This exercise has a benefit of controlling the breath.
- Keep the arms at the side of the body.
- Move the arms upwards and back to the sides, creating a rainbow shape. As the arms go up, breathe in and breathe out as the arms come down at the side.
- You may also teach or help recall the colours in the rainbow while doing so.
Breathing Exercise using Props
Using Water/Soap Bubbles
This is every child’s favourite play activity that lets them form water bubbles from their mouth.
- In a cup of water, mix some soap or shampoo or use a soap bubble toy.
- With the help of a straw, after dipping the straw in soap water, blow the straw gently to form bubbles.
- A deep, slow breathing with long and deep inhalation and exhalation will help form a proper big bubble.
Using Blow candle/Balloons
Blowing birthday balloons or blowing candles are amusing activities for kids. Filling the balloons with air involves deeply drawing the air and blowing into the balloons.
You may do the activity with more than one kid or compete yourself with them as to who blows more balloons.
This exercise uses feathers, preferably coloured to induce more engagement.
- Ask the kid to pick a feather of his choice.
- By holding the feather against their mouth, ask them to breathe in deeply while counting 3.
- Now repeat breathing by keeping the feather’s other side against the mouth.
This is a sweet activity to recognize fragrance of flowers and get a chance to be around nature, if you take them to a garden. Smelling flowers leads to a deep inhalation and exhalation, making them learn the deep breathing too.
- Simply, hold the flower and sniff it by inhaling deeply and slowly exhale.
This is a family time activity, which calms the child as well as help in increasing the lung capacity. A simple activity of blow painting is done together by all members.
- All the members have to take a white sheet of paper.
- Put some drops of watercolor on the paper.
- Take a straw and blow the blob of paint in any direction.
- This creates beautiful objects on the paper.
Learning and fun can always go hand-in-hand, when it comes to children. Looking for such activities is a part of parent’s life. As we see children growing, we often have to deal with different reactions of them and have to momently look for ways to calm them. By teaching them breathing exercise, the body and mind stays in a calm stance and prevents overreaction. At younger age, instilling such habits make them composed and induce self-control.
Do try these activities to have a good time with the kids and get multiple benefits!
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