Resources

3 Breathing Exercises That Will Help Your Child Calm Down

November 15, 2022
Preschool kids play with building bricks in while sitting on floor in daycare

Children often don’t have the skills or language to help themselves relax, especially when they are starting to feel stressed. This is why they look to the adults in their lives to help them. Breathing exercises for children are one way we can help them to manage their feelings before they get upset.

As parents and caregivers, we can offer children a safe place to express their anger, fear, or frustration. When we remain calm, they feel reassured and better able to return to their own place of calm. Deep breathing can help children relax their bodies and minds during moments of stress and frustration or any time they need to wind down, like before bed.

Choose a time to practise these techniques when your child is already feeling calm. Model it yourself, and then have your child do it with you. By practising before an upset occurs, your child will build the skills they need to use the techniques when their own stress mounts. 

These are some of our favourite calming breathing exercises for children!

1. Smell the flower, blow out the candle

Pretending to do something they already understand can give your child a better sense of how to control their breathing. For this exercise, have your child pretend to hold a flower in one hand and a cupcake with a candle on it in the other hand. Then, walk them through smelling the flower and blowing out the candle.

2. The counting method

Breathing slowly is a way to mimic how our body acts when it is already calm, helping it to relax. Practice breathing slowly by having your child breathe in through their nose as you count 1, 2, 3, and breathe out through their mouth as you say A, B, C.

3. Belly breathing

Belly breathing is the deepest breath we can take and is a great way to reduce stress. To practice belly breathing, have your child lie down on their back with their hands on their tummy. Talk them through breathing in through their nose and out through their mouth. They should feel their hands move up and down with each breath.

For more techniques to help your child relax, check out these 7 Sensory Activities to Relieve Stress.

Photos of children playing with water, a sensory activity that helps reduce stress.

Do you have more questions about your child’s behaviour? You can email us at any time at [email protected] to ask us any questions you may have, get connected with an EarlyON Resource Consultant from Peel Children’s Centre, or just find a listening ear. Emails are not monitored 24/7, but we promise to get back to you.

Recent News

What’s On This Week – November 27-December 3

How to Dress for Outdoor Winter Play Did you know that our outdoor programs continue all year round? The cold, snow, and ice bring all kinds of new and interesting play and learning opportunities! In order to get the most out of winter, it's important to dress in warm...

What’s On This Week – November 20-26

French Language Programs at Horizon Jeunesse If you speak French and would like to attend all French programming, visit our Horizon Jeunesse EarlyON Centre! See the program calendar here. Running out of ideas at home? Join us for Play and Learn! Watch your kids learn...

COVID, Cold & Flu Clinics and Information About COVID-19 Vaccines

Care-Clinics.ca With cold and flu season upon us, emergency room visits are increasing, and as a result, wait times are much longer than usual. Care-Clinics.ca is a new appointment booking platform for COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinics. If you are experiencing COVID...

What’s On This Week – November 13-19

Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Peel’s Early Years: EarlyON Participant Engagement Survey The Region of Peel wants to hear from EarlyON Families! Complete this survey and be entered to win one of ten $50 Amazon gift cards.You’re ready for bed, but your...

What’s On This Week – November 6-12

EarlyON Cooks! Recipe: Cauliflower Tots Join us online Wednesday, November 16th 5:30pm-6:30pm! Please remember to choose a location to pick up your free meal kit.Spots can fill up fast. If there is no more space available, keep an eye on our website for more dates....

Play Ideas

It’s Okay Not to Play

For moms with PMD, bonding can happen in other ways.  The reality is that sometimes, and maybe most times when you're suffering with Postpartum Mood Disorder, you’re not going to feel like playing with your baby. That’s okay. Bonding is a process and it takes time....

Activities in Your Neighbourhood: 3 Fun Ways to Explore Outdoors

Children can learn a lot with activities in your neighbourhood. Neighbourhoods are rich with learning opportunities; helping your children to learn about community and the role they play in making their community a safe and fun place. Saying hi to your neighbour,...

4 Ways to Bring Snow Play Indoors

We’re always looking for new and interesting materials for sensory play, and winter is full of them! Snow and ice offer endless opportunities to build, stack, play, and learn. You can take advantage of the great snow activities that winter has to offer—even when it’s...

4 Games with Kitchen Tongs

Kitchen tongs are a great tool for children to practice using their small muscles. Here are our favourite games to encourage children to grip, grab, hold, and build with tongs! Laundry Basket Fishing You will need: a laundry basket tongs miscellaneous toys and objects...

7 Sensory Activities to Relieve Stress

Sensory play is any sort of play that engages the senses⁠—for instance: snapping a rubber band engages the sense of hearing while playing in the sand engages the sense of touch. We often talk about how sensory play is a great learning tool, but did you know that it is...