36+ | Belly Breathing

Instructions

Ask your child to pick a small favorite stuffed animal, and lie down with the animal on their belly. On the count of three, ask your child to take a deep breath in, expanding their belly (notice the stuffed animal rise), followed by a deep exhale, deflating their belly (notice the stuffed animal sinks down). Try this a few times to help your child get the hang of it.

BONUS: To help your child breathe in, allow them to smell an essential oil at the start of the exercise. This may feel more natural to a child and can enhance their overall experience.

The Science

Deep breathing is a powerful relaxation tool that can support individuals throughout development. This exercise is really focused on the mechanics of diaphragmatic breathing — learning how to breathe in deeply, allowing the chest or abdomen to rise, and breathe out, allowing the chest and abdomen to deflate. This specific type of breathing is associated with numerous health benefits, such as heart health, better adaptability to stress, greater energy and focus, and improved sleep.