Breathing Techniques:

  • Blowing out the candles – Have your child hold out their hand. Their fingers are the “candles.” Have them blow out each “candle” with a long breath. Curl down each finger when the “candle” is out. Another way is to put out your thumb. Your thumb is the “candle.” Have your child blow out the “candle” with a long breath. Wiggle your thumb as if the flame is flickering. Slowly bring your thumb down as if the “candle” went out. When they are done blowing, make a loud POP sound with your lips and flick your thumb back up. Let them know, “Looks like you need to blow it out again!” This will guarantee a giggle!
  • For the Star Wars fan – Ask them to breathe in as if they are sucking through a straw, and breathe out as if they are Darth Vader.
  • The bunny/dragon – Ask them to wiggle their nose like a little bunny and take a bunny breath in (in through the nose) and then breathe out fire like a dragon (out through the mouth).
  • Blowing the flower – Purchase a flower pinwheel at your local dollar store. Ask your child to hold the flower in front of their face. Have them take a deep breath in through their nose as if they are smelling the flower. Then, tell them to breathe out on to the flower and watch the flower spin! You can also use bubbles, feathers, and real flowers.
  • Balloon belly – Have them pretend their belly is a balloon. Breathe in to make the balloon bigger, then breathe out and make the balloon shrink.

Physical Activities:

  • Sticky Hands – Have them pretend to have “sticky” hands and press their hands together. Now push hard for 20 seconds. You can count it out with your child. Now tell your child to slowly allow their hands to come apart and see if they can feel the stickiness. Repeat this sequence two or three times.
  • Tense and Relax – Have your child form their hands into fists and bring their shoulders to their ears. Count to five with them and then relax. Repeat five times. Try using props such as “stress balls” to allow a more sensory and calming effect.
  • Yoga poses – Children naturally go through these poses as apart of their neurological development. It’s actually more natural for them to get into these poses then you may think!

Sensory Activities:

  • Crinkle tissue paper. Crinkling tissue paper provides a satisfying noise and the textural changes in your child’s hand sends sensory feedback to the brain in a pathway away from those associated with stress.
  • Sensory Bins – You can put just about anything in a large bin for sensory play. Filling a bin with dried rice, beans, pasta or sand are great simple options to start.  Hide objects inside and let your child sift through the texture to find them.
  • Listening Center – Have a corner in the house available with calming music and quiet instruments such as a rain stick and guiro.