18 Playful Breathing Activities for Kids

This is a list of 18 playful breathing activities for kids. Learning to practice breathing can be pretty boring, even as an adult it can feel difficult some days, so here’s a fun list of mindful breathing exercises to try with your kids.

What is Playful Breathing with Kids?

Playful breathing is part using the breath and part play.

The breath part is giving kids the opportunity to learn and practice how to be present, through bringing awareness to their breath and how to learn to use their breath on purpose. It also can help kids to notice how they feel, both emotionally and physically and learn to pause and take a moment to choose how they respond to these feelings.

The play part then makes the breathing exercises engaging and fun! In the activities listed below, we are going to access the imagination and use story telling, rhymes and pictures to get kids engaged. You may find that your children find their favourite exercises and over time, through practice and modelling will be able to use these skills independently.

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Playful breathing activities for kids

However, I know that life is busy and it can be difficult to make time to practice these activities regularly with your kids, whether you are a parent at home or teacher in the classroom. But the most important thing, it that children see the breathing exercises being modelled, used and get to use them themselves on a regular basis.

So, if you like the activities I’ve created a PDF eBook ‘My Book of Breaths’, that can be viewed on your devices, printed as a whole or you can just choose the activities you like and display the pages as posters in your calm corner or classroom. These playful breathing activities for kids are very simple, easy to practice and could be shared anywhere.

So, let’s check out this list of breathings activities (try some of them out yourself as we go through!)

18 Playful Breathing Activities for Kids

mindful breathing exercises to try with kids

1. Birthday Cake Breaths

{Related post: Birthday Cake Breaths: A Mindful Breathing Exercise for Children.}

  1. The Birthday Cake Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Kind wishes to you, Kind wishes to me! Then out goes the candle. 1, 2, 3.
  3. Then ask your child to imagine a delicious cake with a big candle on top.
  4. Next they take a big breath in through their noses.
  5. Finally, they slowly blow out the candle.
  6. Reflect – How many candles did they have? What flavour was their cake?

2. Balloon Breaths

{Related Post: Balloon Breaths – Mindful Breathing Exercise for Children.}

  1. The Balloon Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. I’ll be a balloon and fill with air. I’ll find my calm and float right there.
  3. Then ask your child to imagine that their belly is a balloon.
  4. Next, take in a breath and fill up the balloon.
  5. Then breathe out and make your belly small.
  6. Reflect – What is your favourite colour balloon? Did they feel the air in their bellies?

3. Buzzy Bee Breaths

{Related Post: Buzzy Bee Breaths: A Mindful Breathing Exercise for Children.}

  1. The Buzzy Bee Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Buzz! Buzz! I’m a busy bee. So it’s time to take a breath for me
  3. Then ask children to imagine what it must feel like to be a busy bee.
  4. Ask them to pop their fingers over their ears.
  5. Then take in a big breath.
  6. When they breathe out they can make a buzz sound like a bee.
  7. Reflect – Could they hear the buzz sound in their ears?

4. Hot Chocolate Breaths

{Related post: Hot Chocolate Breaths – Playful Breathing for Kids}

  1. The Hot Chocolate Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Feeling cosy, feeling snug. Time for a breath that feels like a hug.
  3. Then ask children to imagine that they are holding a warm mug of hot chocolate.
  4. Next they take a breath in and smell the cocoa.
  5. Then they blow out and cool their cup of hot chocolate down.
  6. Reflect – How did it feel to cool down the hot chocolate? Maybe you could try making a hot chocolate together and try out the breathing exercise.
Kids breathing cards printable

5. Lion Breaths

  1. The Lion Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Never ignore your inner roar. Let it be heard let in soar.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are a brave lion.
  4. Next they take in a big breath.
  5. Then they breathe out with a mighty roar
  6. Optional: Children can stick their tongues out too if they want.
  7. Reflect – Ask children to think about a time they were brave.

6. Rocket Breaths

{Related Post: Firework Rocket Straws: Breathing Activity Craft for Kids}

  1. The Rocket Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Blasting off! 3, 2, 1. With my Rocket breath, I’ll reach the sun.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are a rocket ship, ready to launch.
  4. Next they take a big breath in. Then 3, 2, 1.
  5. Breathe out with a big rocket, WHOOSH!
  6. Reflect – Rockets head up to the stars, what makes you a star?

7. Dragon Breaths

{Related Post: How to use Dragon Breaths to Calm Angry feelings.}

  1. The Dragon Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Breathe like a fierce dragon, it will do you no harm. Release the fire in your belly and conquer the castle of calm.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are a fierce dragon.
  4. Ask them to feel the fire in their belly and take a breath in.
  5. Finally, they can breathe out the hot fiery flames.
  6. Reflect – Everybody feels angry sometimes, you might feel fiery like a dragon. When is a time that the children have felt angry?

8. Owl Breaths

{Check out my coordinating Thankful Owl Journal}

  1. The Owl Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. A thankful owl is very wise. He takes a breath and opens his eyes. He stops and see’s all the things. That a happy owl life brings.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are a wise owl, sat in a cozy tree.
  4. Next ask them to breath in and at the same time squeeze in their arms (wings) to their sides.
  5. Then as children breathe out, they can relax their wing.
  6. Reflect – What is something that the children are thankful for?
Kids breathing mindful colouring printable

9. Rainbow Breaths

{Related Post: Rainbow Star Wand: Mindful Movement Craft for Kids}

  1. The Rainbow Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. A rainbow is inside of you and guess what it’s inside me too. A golden sunshine, a bright blue sky. Breathe in a colour and then smile.
  3. Then ask children to imagine that they are a beautiful rainbow and think of a colour.
  4. Next, as they breathe in they raise their arms in an arc and clap their hands at the top.
  5. Then, they breathe out and lower their arms.
  6. Another option is to imagine breathing in their colour.
  7. Reflect – What colour did they choose? How does the colour make them feel?

10. Pirate Breaths

{Related post: 10 Pirate Themed Wellbeing Activities for Kids}

  1. The Pirate Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. A pirates breath is the breath for me. It keeps me calm on the big blue sea.
  3. Ask children to imagine that they are an adventurous pirate.
  4. Next as they take a big breath, get them to swing their arm up.
  5. Then as they let out their breath, they can sound a pirate ‘aaarrrrggggg’ and lower their arm.
  6. Reflect – Where would the children go if they were a brave pirate?

11. Digger Breaths

  1. The Digger Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. I’ll scoop my bucket and raise my boom. My digger breath will fill the room.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are a strong and sturdy digger.
  4. As they breathe in, ask them to raise their arm like a diggers boom.
  5. Then as they breathe out, they must slowly and steadily lower their arm at the same time.
  6. Reflect – What did their arms feel like when they were lowering them?

12. Bunny Breaths

{Related post: 11 Calming Easter Activities {Including Free Bunny Breaths Printable + More}

  1. The Bunny Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Little bunny, little bunny. What’s that whiff? Let’s breathe in. Sniff, sniff, sniff. Little bunny, Little bunny. What did you smell? Little bunny, little bunny. Please do tell.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are a curious bunny in a meadow.
  4. They must take three tiny sniff’s through their noses as they breathe in.
  5. Then breathe out and go floppy like a relaxed bunny.
  6. Reflect – What did they imagine smelling / seeing in the meadow?
Breathing activities for travelling
Using ‘My Book of Breaths’ and the colouring pages set on our campervan travels in Australia.

13. Superhero Breaths

  1. The Superhero Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. My super hero breath, is my super hero power. Always there for me, every minute, every hour.
  3. Then ask children to imagine that they are kind and courageous superhero’s.
  4. They must pop their hands on their hips.
  5. Then feeling tall and proud, take in a breath.
  6. Then they can breathe out, ready for their next adventure.
  7. Reflect – When is a time your child has felt proud? Kind? or courageous?

14. Butterfly Breaths

{Related post: Paper Butterfly’s – Mindful Movement Craft for Kids}

  1. The Butterfly Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. My breath can make me calm and free. Like a butterfly floating above a tree.
  3. Then ask children to imagine that they are a beautiful butterfly. With colourful wings.
  4. As they breathe in, ask your child to raise their arms like wings.
  5. Then as they breathe out, they can lower their arms slowly and relax.
  6. Reflect – What would it feel like to fly? What colour were their butterfly wings?

15. Flower Breaths

  1. The Flower Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Stop and smell the flowers. Each one a new surprise. A little joy for our noses, a little gift for our eyes.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are holding a beautiful flower.
  4. They can then breathe in the sweet smell of the flower.
  5. As they breathe out, they can imagine blowing the petals, as they float into the air.
  6. Reflect – What did your child’s flower look / smell like?
  1. The Cookie Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Sweet baked cookie breaths, a smell that’s oh so yummy. I’ll cool down my cookie, so it’s ready for my tummy.
  3. Then ask children to imagine that they have just baked delicious cookies.
  4. They can breathe in the yummy smell.
  5. them blow out to cool their cookies down.
  6. Reflect – Do they remember a time they baked cookies?
Breathing activity rhymes eBook

17. Bubble Breaths

{Related Post: 3 Simple Breathing Exercises to Calm Children’s Big Feelings.}

  1. The Bubble Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. Blow a bubble gently, let a dream float high. Watch the magic disappear as they bob into the sky.
  3. Then ask children to imagine that they are holding a magical bubble wand.
  4. Ask them to also think of a colour before they breathe in.
  5. Next they take a breath.
  6. As they blow their magical wand, colourful bubbles appear.
  7. Reflect – What colour did your child choose?

18. Pinwheel Breaths

  1. The Pinwheel Breaths breathing exercise starts with sharing the breathing rhyme.
  2. A bright and colourful pinwheel. It moves fast and then moves slow. Spinning faster and faster, as I use my breath to blow.
  3. Then ask children to imagine they are holding a colourful pinwheel.
  4. Ask them to breathe in and blow the pinwheel slowly.
  5. Then breathe in and blow it with a strong breath.
  6. Reflect – What did they notice between taking the two breaths?

Keep Practicing these Playful Breathing Activities for Kids!

Check out my Calm Crafts for Kids ideas too.


I hope you have enjoyed my list of 18 playful breathing activities for kids.

If you want to get your kids engaged then do take a peek at my ‘Book of Breaths’ eBook, it also comes with a set of matching printable flash cards. You can also buy the matching colouring pages to keep those little hands and minds focused.

These printable are great for parents, teachers, counsellors, therapists and yoga teachers who need some colourful, fun and easy to engage breathing activities for kids.

Check out my Etsy store for lots of printable mindfulness activities! Thanks Emma

Breathing activity eBook for kids

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