Okay parents, how many times have you had your little one get upset and you share the wise old advice of “Take a deep breath”, only to be rebuffed? Trust me you are not alone, this is so common! While we find a deep breath to be relaxing and resetting, children often see it as a chore. My favorite thing to do in therapy is make deep breathing fun! Today, I am going to share my favorite invention of all time: Doodle Breathing. This is a similar idea to a “labyrinth” but with a little more pizzaz.
For Doodle Breathing, you can use a paper and marker or just your hand. To start, you take a long breath in (usually about 4 counts). Then with the pen to paper or finger on hand, you trace out a spiral to see how many spiral layers you can get with your out breath. This is a deceptively fun way to teach the benefit of having the out breath take a longer count than the in breath. I even make a game of it with a child to see who can hold their breath longer and make larger spirals.
Teach your child this new breathing technique and see if they like it!
Written by Elizabeth Hamburger, MS, LMFT