I was talking to my son about anger and how when we first feel anger, its like a small little fire in our bellies and if we don’t notice the fire, it can grow and grow and we can burst like an angry, fiery dragon. “Dragons aren’t mean though? he asked, no I said but they still have to learn how to control their anger or they may burn themselves, or a friend or burn something down, being angry is ok, its a feeling and its telling us something but we need to make sure that we don’t let our fires explode.
Enter the power of Dragon breaths to release the anger. Teach dragon breaths when you and your child are both calm and happy. Notice how the body feels when you are calm and happy too, this will help them to notice when they begin to feel tension and anger in their bodies. Once you are both comfortable with this anger-reducing breathing activity, it’ll be easier to use when they start to feel the signs of anger.
Research has proven that deep breathing helps us to move from our amygdala (fight-or-flight response) to our prefrontal cortex (regulating emotions and problem-solving) by triggering the relaxation response, so that we are able to think more clearly and make good choices. Our ultimate goal is to help our children (and ourselves) to regulate big emotions.
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Teach Kids Deep Belly Breathing using Dragon Breaths
When you teach children to use their breath its really important to make it fun and engaging, the technique is less important to begin with but practicing regularly means it becomes a healthy habit and an important life skill that we use automatically in challenging times. I created a Dragon Breaths Kit which includes a poster, handy breathing card, exercise script to introduce dragon breaths and a creative worksheet, which are really helpful for helping little ones to really engage with learning this activity. Overtime as children become familiar with activity, we can encourage them to send their breath deep into their bellies, which will help to calm their bodies and minds.
Following on from the exercise I love to continue to spark the imagination when teaching breathing skills to kids, I use crafts, role play, books and rhymes to make the exercises fun and interesting. You can download our free Dragon Breaths rhyme poster under Rhyme Time, see the dragon themed book suggestions under Story Time and try out the Flying Dragon Craft under Creative Time and bring lots of magic and joy to learning this exercise.
Now its Time to Breathe like a Dragon
This is the short guide to Dragon Breaths that’s written on the handy breathing card, have a try yourself and the with your little one:
1) Sit crossed legged and Imagine you are a dragon, you have a fire in your belly.
2) Breathe in through your nose, with lots of energy.
3) Breathe out strongly through your mouth with a roar. Feel the fire in your belly calm.
4) Option to stick out your tongue and open your eyes and mouth wide. Repeat 3-5 times
Our Dragon Breaths printable kit uses a fun and adorable dragon as a visual cue to take their Dragon Breaths. The printable kit contains a visual prompt dragon breaths poster, a positive affirmation poster, a handy breathing card, full introduction script and mindful creative worksheet.
When you practice mindful breathing you are using your breath and senses to develop your attention and focus skills, which can have lots of benefits at home and in the classroom. It is also a great coping skill for learning to manage our emotions and helps to elicit the relaxation response and a feeling of calm.
Listen to the full audio track of Dragon Breaths below.
Now that you’ve practiced the breathing exercise, include these other fun activities to crate more opportunities for children to practice in joyful ways. These activities can act as trigger for taking a Dragon Breath and learning that our breath is always their for us when we need it.
Breathe like a fierce dragon, it will do you no harm. Release the fire in your belly and conquer the castle of calm.
Due to the fact that our brains remember rhymes because they are easily linked together for us by sound. Its much easier for us to remember and be a reminder of something we need to do.
In fact, because I want you to use this awesome activity with your children, you can download the Dragon Breaths Rhyme Poster for FREE!
Mr Tickle and the Dragon by Roger Hargreaves
When Mr Tickle decides to investigate some surprising fires in the gentle hills where he lives, he meets a fire-breathing dragon who destroys everything in his path. Can he help him change his ways? I love this book as the story show how the dragon uses his fiery breath to help others and be kind. Its a great way to discuss that our feeling of anger is sending us a message and that we can use that energy in other more helpful ways.
This is such a gorgeous book, I love it and its such a good book to use discuss the emotion of anger with kids. Fergal may look like a super cute dragon, and he is, but he also has some anger management issues. I also love how Fergal goes and checks out with his friends how they manage their anger. A great accompanying book to the Dragon Breaths activity.
I love using toilet rolls to make crafts, they are just so handy and there is always a constant supply of them. This fire breathing dragon was really easy to make and my little boy was very excited when he saw the bright orange and red colours. he practiced roaring and using his breath through the dragon and then he started to make up a game.
Suddenly our fire breathing dragon became a flying fire breathing dragon! He picked up a stick and popped the toilet roll on and then began to fly his dragon around the woods. Children will always surprise you and come up with things that you hadn’t even thought of, their imaginations are magical.
Another more relaxing option is to settle into some mindful colouring, the worksheet that comes along with the printable kit invites children to draw their own dragon safe and calm a cave. Children can simply colour the picture in or use their imaginations, both allowing them to get in to the flow of creativity.
The Dragon Breaths Printable Kit includes a beautiful hand painted water colour dragon poster, an positive dragon affirmation poster, flashcard, full introduction script and creative worksheet.
I also offer a Breaths Bundle, that includes:
- Leaf Breaths
- Broom Breaths
- Owl Breaths
- Rainbow Breaths
- Dragon Breaths
Leave you thoughts in the comments below, I really love to hear from you!
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Rainbow breaths exercise is a playful breathing technique, which includes using the breath, visualisation and mindful movement.