Bubble breathing is simply using blowing bubbles to help to introduce younger children to calming breathing in a fun way. By focussing on trying to blow big bubbles, children are encouraged to focus on their out breath and breathe in a slow, calm way. This can help them to understand how it feels to ‘do’ calming breathing and to see if it can work as a calming tool for them. Learning calming breathing is well established as a way to reduce stress, anxiety and panic – it is even recommended by the NHS!
Why is bubble breathing helpful?
When we feel anxious or overwhelmed, we can breathe in a shallow, quick way from our chest and can make those feelings stronger. Being able to slow our breathing down consciously and take longer breaths can help us to calm down and reduce overwhelming feelings so we can take more considered action. So it can be a great technique for children to learn so they can calm themselves down in tricky situations. This needs practice and bubble breathing can help with that!
It doesn’t work for every child of course and it needs practice for them to be able to call on it when they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, but learning a calmer way of breathing is a great way of introducing your child to how the breath can help them to feel calm.
Introducing the technique to a child
Here is a video of Zoë talking through and demonstrating bubble breathing which you might find helpful.
Daily tally sheet
As with any new skill, you will need to help your child practice their breathing so that eventually they can remember to use it as a tool to help them calm down when they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. A fun way of doing this is with a tally sheet.
You can download a printable daily Bubble Breathing Tally Sheet here.