Breathing Exercises for strong emotions

deep breathing child

Breathing Exercises for Children ~ Compiled by Patience Domowski, LCSW

Kids and other professionals have given me many ideas for breathing exercises!

Deep breathing is so important for kids to learn because they can use it to calm their body down when stressed, anxious, angry, or other strong emotions. Children should try to breathe all the way from their stomach and as slow and deep as possible. Deep breathing tells your body and brain to relax.

Blow out candles

(pretend to blow out candles, pretend fingers are candles. blow out all 10!)'

Smell the flowers

(pretend you have a flower in your hand and inhale deeply)

Snake breath

(slow hiss to let your breath out)


Blow fish breathing

(pretend you’re a blow fish and fill up with air)


Square breathing

(hold and release breath for 4 seconds each)

7-11 Breaths

(count to 7 breathing out, count to 11 breathing out) 

Belly breath

(put hand on your stomach and breathe from belly, not just from chest)

Butterfly hug

(cross arms across chest and tap your shoulders)