Want a quick way to practice deep breathing with your child or in your class? Here’s another one-minute relaxer that is easy to practice. The goal of this activity is to make the exhale twice as long as the inhale. Also, to allow the inhale to naturally expand. Make sure you have explained to children what “inhale and exhale” mean so that they understand what you are asking them to do.
1. We are going to play a game called “I’m a Little Steam Engine.” You get to pretend that you are a steam engine and I am going to listen to the steam that you make.
2. Imagine that you are a steam engine. You can be as big or as small of an engine as you would like. Decide what color you would like to be. Maybe you want to look like Thomas the train? Maybe you are a big black shiny engine. You decide.
3. Sit up straight.
4. Allow yourself to inhale, let it come naturally, no need to force, push or take a big breath, just allow it to be natural.
5. As you exhale, you are going to make a “shhhhh” sound, like steam coming out of a steam engine. The steam from your engine comes out long and slow. See if you can send your steam across the room. Let’s see how long you can make your steam. As you steam move your arms like the wheels of the engine. Chug chug chug along as you exhale and see whose engine goes the farthest.