When your child has asthma or another respiratory condition, breathing techniques are an important tool. Here we have fun breathing exercises for kids.
Fun Breathing Exercises for Kids
These techniques are certainly not a replacement for proper diagnosis and treatment with your pediatric pulmonologist in Staten Island. However, practicing breathing techniques with your child does provide them with established routines that can help calm their breathing when they’re experiencing mild to moderate respiratory distress.
Essentially, by teaching your child a handful of breathing techniques you can give them a sense of control and a way to help themselves stay calm while they wait for their medication or other established treatment to take effect.
These are some of the most useful child-friendly breathing techniques that they can start learning today.
To practice bubble breathing, take advantage of a beautiful day and grab a simple bottle of bubbles with a wand.
Model blowing bubbles for your child. Emphasize taking a deep breath as well as the prolonged exhale.
Whenever you do this or prompt your child to, refer to it as a “bubble breath.” It’s a memorable name that your child will recognize if you repeatedly use it.
In the event of an anxiety attack, a tantrum, or an asthma attack you can encourage your child to take a “bubble breath” while you find a long-term solution.
Stuffed Animal Breathing
Stuffed animal breathing works best for children who like to play with larger plush toys. During this exercise, lie down with your child and instruct them to hug their stuffed animal nice and tight.
Tell your child to take a deep breath and pay attention to how their stuffed animal moves as they expand their chest and abdomen.
This is a great opportunity to discuss how breathing works with your child in an age-appropriate context.
It’s also a great way to practice deep, sustained breaths when your child needs to slow their breathing and take the time to inhale.
If your child has a favorite stuffed animal, consider naming the breathing technique after that specific toy.
For children obsessed with all sorts of different, real animals there are other techniques you can use.
Popular approaches include: snake breathing, bunny breathing, and bumblebee breathing.
In each situation, you will ask your child to focus on breathing in through their nose. You may do one sustained inhalation or three short inhalations.
As your child breathes out through their nose or mouth, you can teach them to make a sound associated with the animal you have chosen.
The Lemon Squeeze
The lemon squeeze may work better with slightly older children, as there are no props used to teach this technique.
With this breathing exercise, you will ask your child to imagine they have half a lemon in each hand. As they inhale, you want them to imagine squeezing all of the juice out of those lemons.
The goal is a 3 second inhale followed by a slow release.
Knowing When to Teach Breathing Techniques
Regardless of whether or not they have asthma, every child will have moments in their life where they’re upset to a point where their breathing is erratic.
You can start teaching these techniques as soon as your child begins to mimic gestures and understands some communication.
The Purpose of Breathing Techniques
While these techniques may never be needed for an emergency situation, they are a valuable tool that you can use to help keep your child calm if the need does arise.
Of course, if your child is showing signs of a chronic respiratory condition, then these techniques will not be enough on their own.
You will need to meet with a pediatric asthma specialist in NYC to find medical solutions that will protect your child in the case of a severe attack.