Helping kids of all ages to live a more active life through FUNctional movement.
Have you heard the buzz word “self-regulation”? Do you even know what that means?
Self regulation is the ability to manage our emotions, thoughts and behaviours. It’s having the skills and strategies to calm oneself down and feel grounded when overwhelmed, upset or even adjusting to change.
Many kids have challenges with self-regulation, which might present itself as poor attention and focus, emotional outbursts, impulsivity and problems with transitions and adapting to change.
Deep breathing is one of the best and most simple self-regulation strategies that we can teach our kids. The benefits of deep breathing include relaxing our body, refocusing our mind, lowering our heart rate and reducing stress and anxiety.
Reminding or expecting our kids to take deep breaths independently when they need to doesn’t always work though. Sometimes we need a tool to help us get the job done; the breathing stick is a great place to start as it is simple, quick, potable and FUN. The results of this crafting activity will be fun and useful. The goal is to let your kids make it their own to increase their engagement and provide visual and tactile feedback.
Here is what you need:
Check out the step by step video here
1. Start by curling one end of the pipe cleaner into a circle with the side of your finger. Make sure there is some overlap so you can twist the end.
2. Place all the beads onto the pipe cleaner, alternating one colour with the other.
3. Curl the other end of the pipe cleaner to secure the beads. Twist again to make sure the beads don’t fall off.
4. Stick your finger in one circle to hold the breathing stick in place.
5. Moving one bead at a time from one end of the pipe cleaner to the other- breathe in while moving one colour of bead, and breathe out when moving the other colour of bead.
6. Repeat as many times as needed.
If you are looking for more on how to support and increase your child’s self-regulation toolbox, call to find out more about how to work 1-1 with Emma, or one of our other Occupational Therapists.