If you have a tiny human who sometimes wrestles with anxiety (just like mine), I’ve got a cute little trick for you – Bubble Belly Breathing. It’s a mindfulness breathing exercise that easily grabs kids attentions and sounds more fun than just “taking deep breaths” to calm down.
The Lifelong Foundation
Anxiety doesn’t discriminate by age. Whether your kiddo is 2 or 10, these breathing exercises can be a game-changer for how they are able to manage the different obstacles that are undoubtedly coming their way. Think of it as giving your child a superpower they’ll carry through life, because when the world gets crazy, a calm breath can be the #1 thing that helps them be mentally fit to problem solve.
Anxiety can feel like bubbles in the belly
Anxiety or nervousness often feels like a tight knot in our stomachs. So, we can teach our kids to think of that feeling like bubbles in their belly – those same bubbles from the ones we play with – and we can get rid of those bubbles by doing a special bubble belly breathing exercise.
How to Bubble Belly Breathe
1. It doesn’t matter if you’re out and about or at home, find a comfy spot sitting or lying down. Let your child choose what they want, and you can do the same right next to them so that you both are doing it. Monkey see, monkey do. You’ll get more involvement if you participate with them, especially if you’re doing this for the first time.
2. Have them put one hand on their belly, the other on their heart. This simple touch is like telling their body, “I’ve got this!” and it actually releases oxytocin which helps the feeling of safety, trust and love.
3. Have them close their eyes and imagine their belly is a bubble factory. It’s full of bubbles popping and bouncing all around.
Tip if they don’t want to close their eyes: say they have to close their eyes so they can see inside their bodies! If their eyes are open they can only feel the bubbles, not see them. It’s fine either way, but so much cooler if you can see them.
4. Tell them to breathe in slow and deep through their nose, filling their belly with as much air as they can to catch the bubbles!
5. Now, exhale gently through their mouth, and pretend all those tiny bubbles are blowing out of their mouth.
6. They have to go slow – too fast, and they’ll just blow the bubbles around and not catch them.
7. Do it a few times to make sure you’ve caught all those little bubble troublemakers who are trying to sneak away!
Extra Fun Tip
If your kiddo’s lying down and resisting the breathing, they can place a stuffed animal on their belly to watch it rise and fall with their breath. “Show me how full you can make your belly while keeping the stuffy in place”
Give it a try and let me know in the comments or on Instagram (@tinyhumanprintco) if it works its magic for your tiny human! 🌬️✨💙