Often, meditation in the traditional sense can be difficult for us adults to grasp, let alone children.
One of my children has trouble keeping his attention on one thing and sitting still for any amount of time.
This breathing exercise is perfect for kids (or adults) like him who need to be having fun and moving about. It teaches fantastic coping mechanisms and relaxation methods that can later be referred to in more challenging situations.
You will need:
– (at least) 1 pot of bubbles!
The key here is fun – try not to worry too much about method.
He association of breathing with happiness and positive emotions will be a helpful link when their thoughts are brought back to the exercise when feeling low or anxious.
1) Instruct the child (sometimes a good way to do this is by joining in yourself) to breathe in a deep breath through her/his nose.
They can imagine puffing up a balloon or a football in their tummy.
2) Then (holding the loaded bubble wand in front of their mouth) send a long, deep breath back out through the mouth. Ask if they’ve emptied all the air out (flatten that balloon!).
3) Help them to notice that the longer and slower breaths they use, the more bubbles will be made. Make sure they take their time and repeat a few times.
4) An additional activity to do here is watching the bubbles as they drift away peacefully. See how long they take to pop. Perhaps using the imagination to dream up where they might be going to and what they might see.
(But let’s face it-at this point most kids will be jumping on, clapping and catching the bubbles in a crazed frenzy before they disappear!)
5) You can return to this as practise before bed in the evenings or more acutely when he or she is feeling stressed, angry, anxious or upset.
Simply remind them of the exercise.
~do you remember how much fun we had blueing bubbles?
~and do you remember how we blew them with big, slow breaths in through our noses and out through our mouths?
~can you imagine that we’re doing that now?(encourage good breathing techniques)
Followed by a bit of guided visualisation perhaps, imagining all the bubbles you’ve blown and where they might be on their way to.
I’d love to hear if you give this exercise a go with your kids (or yourself!!) because who doesn’t like bubbles?!