Racetrack Breaths {Lazy 8 Breathing}

Racetrack Breaths or Lazy 8 Breathing as it’s also known, is a soothing, shape breathing technique for kids. This is a simple yet effective breathing exercise that can help children to calm down and focus. Using the race track image a can makes this a fun and playful mindfulness activity that younger children will love too.

You can support this activity with the Racetrack Breaths Kit and there are also creative and playful car themed activity ideas including a free mindful colouring page at the end of the post.

{Related Page: A to Z List of Breathing Activities for Kids}

Racetrack Breathing Activity - lazy 8's

What is Lazy 8 Breathing?

Lazy 8 breathing is a mindful breathing activity and a cross lateral exercise that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain helping to calm and focus.

This activity involves tracing the shape of a lazy 8 (an 8 shape on it’s side) or infinity symbol with the eyes / or tracing with a finger while taking deep breaths. This breathing activity is great for older children and teens.

Here’s how you can guide your child through the Lazy 8 breathing exercise:

  1. Ask your child to sit comfortably and take a deep breath in through their nose.
  2. As they exhale, ask them to trace the shape of a lazy 8 with their eyes or finger. Start at the top left of the 8 and follow the curve down to the bottom, then up to the top right and follow the curve down to the bottom.
  3. As they trace the shape, ask them to continue taking slow, deep breaths in through their nose and out through their mouth.
  4. Encourage your child to repeat this exercise several times, focusing on their breath and the movement of their eyes.
  5. Children could also trace an eight shape in the palm of their hands as a calming alternative. This is handy (no pun intended) for when they are in the classroom or on the go and need a quick calming exercise.

Related Post: 7 Calming Activities for Mindful Focus

Racetrack Breaths or Lazy 8 Breathing as it's also known, is a soothing, shape breathing technique for kids.

So, What are Race Track Breaths?

Race track breaths are my playful version of Lazy 8 breaths. Great for preschool or primary age children. It’s the same activity but with the addition of a fun visualisation to spark of the imagination.

I first created this activity when I was working with a little boy who loved Hotwheels cars. I knew I needed to create something that would grab his attention. We used his small Hotwheel cars to trace the lazy 8 racetrack shape and he absoloutely loved it!

How to Take a Racetrack Breath

Ready to calm find focus with Racetrack Breaths? Let’s go!

Optional Resources:

  • Use the accompanying Racetrack Breaths Kit
  • Free Mindful Colouring Page (see bottom of post)
  • Racetrack Breaths positive affirmation, “I am focused as a Race Car”.

{Related Post: Using Affirmations with Kids}


Step 1 – Introduce:

“We are going to do an activity called Race Track Breaths. This is a fun exercise where we get to focus and calm our brains”

Spark the Imagination:

“Imagine that you have just won the big race, you feel so full of energy and excitement, but its time to do your victory lap. Everyone wants to see you and you want to take in the moment. So you are going to slowly drive around the racetrack. Calm, focused and proud.”


“Right now i’ll show you how we start. We are going to use our finger /a toy car / and place it in the middle of the track. Then we’ll choose a side to begin and start our engines. On the count of three we will slowly trace our finger around the track and breathe in, as we begin to trace the other side of the track we will breathe out.”


“Now it’s your turn. Remember to start in the middle. 1, 2, 3 and slowly start to trace one side of the track as you breath in. Well done! As you approach the other side, slowly breathe out. Taking your time, try and trace the track again.”


Invite children to describe how they feel afterwards and ask themwhat they noticed in their bodies? How did it feel to be trace the track slowly? You can then follow this breathing activity with the free colouring page or one of the other creative activities listed at the end of the post.

Lazy 8's Free PDF Printable

Fun Car Themed Creative Ideas to Extend the Racetrack Breathing Activity:

Engaging in creative activities can help children to express their feelings, reduce stress, and build resilience. Here are some ways that creativity can help children manage anxiety:

1 – Race Car Painting

For this activity you’ll need a Hotwheel car, paint (I love this washable, no toxic set) and paper. Dip the wheels of the car in paint, then ask children to paint with the cars. TIP: If you want to create the racetrack shape, draw with pencil first so it’s easy for your child to follow.

2 – Giant Racetrack Tape

Use racetrack / road tape to create a giant racetrack on your floor. Kids can then actually walk around the track pretending to be a race car and practice their breathing.

You could also swap out cars for plastic horses or tractors, anything your child loves!

3 – Racetrack Coloring

Print off my Racetrack Breaths Colouring Page, grab some colouring pencils and set up a colouring station for your child.

Racetrack Breaths or Lazy 8 Breathing

Lazy 8 breathing activity can be a helpful tool for kids who struggle with anxiety, stress, or attention issues. It can be done anywhere and anytime, and it only takes a few minutes to complete. Try incorporating this activity into your car loving child’s routine to help them stay calm, focused, and centered. Take care – Emma x

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