Breathing Techniques to Relax Your Child
Children are naturally fascinated by their own breathing, just getting quiet and paying attention to it is extremely soothing. Rather than thinking about the events and worries of their day, as children focus on their own breath, their minds will become quiet. Their breathing will also automatically slow down and deepen, bringing more oxygen into their bodies and helping them to relax. In the Floppy Sleep Game program, kids will practice being very quiet as they simply watch their breath. They don’t need to try to change their breath in any way. In fact, they don’t have to do anything. They will just be watching the breath as it breathes itself. It will be a time of undoing, allowing, and letting go -- a time to gather the senses that are usually focused on the outside world and turning them inward. After a few days of this simple yet valuable activity, I suggest you introduce children to belly breathing (that is diaphragmatic breathing.)
Diaphragmatic breathing, or “belly breathing,” is a wonderful way to release mental and physical stress and tension. It calms the mind and induces a state of
Because it’s so much more fun for children to learn when imagination and fantasy are involved, visualization can be interwoven into the breathing techniques. For instance, when practicing belly breathing, have your child imagine that there is a colorful balloon in his or her belly.
Elevator breathing also incorporates visualization and it can be introduced after your child is comfortable with belly breathing. Children will be learning to isolate three areas: the head, the chest, and the abdomen. This pranayama (yoga breathing technique) focuses the attention on the present moment, while calming and grounding the mind. It is often done while seated in a comfortable, cross-legged position, but it is also nice to do while lying on the back. When your children are lying down, they can really feel the breath moving through their bodies as it makes contact with the floor.
Begin by having your children observe the natural inhalation and exhalation of their breath without changing anything, then proceed with the directions.
Day time Follow up: Blow up a real balloon. Show children how it fills up, from the bottom, the middle and finally the top. Let out some air. Watch the balloon deflate from the top, the middle, and the bottom. Explain that they can inflate and deflate the air of their imaginary balloon (in their bellies and chest) in the same way.
New York Hall of Science
Built initially as a pavilion for the 1964 World's Fair, the New York Hall of Science is now New York City's hands-on science and technology center. Since 1986, NYSCI has served over seven million children, parents and teachers. NYSCI's mission is to convey the excitement and understanding of science and technology to children, families, teachers and others by galvanizing their curiosity and offering them creative, participatory ways to learn. NYSCI features the largest collection of hands-on science exhibits in New York City. Visitors of all ages can explore over 450 interactive exhibits.
El Museo del Barrio New York
New York’s leading Latino cultural institution welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic and cultural landscape of the Caribbean and Latin America.