Breathing Activities for the Whole family!
Try some breathing activities to support children who are faced with big emotions. When they are stressed, it can be difficult for children to regulate themselves and return to a safe and grounded state of mind.
Sometimes talking or verbally expressing emotions can prove to be too overwhelming.
The ME Project have provided some simple examples of activities to do that may help provide an outlet for children when they finding it hard to balance big emotions.
Use these activities and practice breathing big breaths in and out throughout then hopefully once the activity is complete your child will be in a better mind frame to discuss their emotions!
The Glitter Jar
Sometimes things can get too much for children so a great way to encourage a session of calm is using a glitter jar. Involve them in making the jar so they will be more open to using it as a way of slowing down their emotions and encourage a more open and free communication.
Use any jar you have, an old pasta jar for example and pour water into it and add a small squeeze of glue (this will allow the glitter to swirl better).
Then let your child choose some glitter and put it in. Have as many colours as they want, each colour could reflect an emotion.
Explore that idea with them and explain that the glitter pieces are different thoughts and feelings.
Tightly place the lid on and give it a shake.
Anytime your child feels overwhelmed or you sense an influx of emotion coming, let them shake the jar and wait until all the glitter has fallen. Encourage them to count their out-breaths to ensure they are using breathing techniques to calm themselves.
Once all the glitter has fallen, they should hopefully be in a more open mindset where you can encourage free communication, allow them to discuss their situation and come up with a solution together!
Start by standing tall and confident, or sitting in a strong and sturdy upright position.
When you breathe in raise your arms above your head and face your palms towards each other. Then on the breath out, let your arms float down to your sides like a rainbow is above your head!
To help with visualisation encourage your child to shut their eyes and imagine the rainbow above their head!
Repeat as many time as necessary until your child is ready.
If you are feeling particularly brave and adventurous, you could try to make slime.
This type of slime changes texture depending on the type of energy you put into it, squeeze it hard and it turns into a solid, then release the pressure and it will turn back into a liquid!
All you need is:
- Corn Flour
- A bowl
- Optionally, food colouring
Put the cornflour into a bowl and mix with enough water to create a thick liquid and that’s it! You have energy slime.
Try doing your breathing techniques whilst playing, Inhale whilst squeezing the slime and exhale and release the slime back into a liquid!!
Below we have provided a free Printable with some ways to encourage deep breathing to create calm when faced with big emotions. Print them out and place them somewhere like your purse or your child’s rucksack. Then when faced with an emotional outburst allow your child to choose a technique to ground them so you can discuss the situation better once calmness has been restored.
We hope you find some of these techniques useful, and we would love to see your pictures of you and your sticky slime or glitter jars!!
Talk to us at The ME Project for more information about what we do.