Belly Breathe – a tool to self-regulate

I wanted to share this link to a video to help teach your little cubs how to belly breathe as a tool to self-regulate.  As part of the activity, I have the children lie down on their backs and place a bean bag on their belly button.  As they breathe they can watch the bean bag rise and fall.

A stuffed animal or a suitable favorite toy could definitely work as an item. Some kids may benefit from a weighted item to provide their muscle feedback on how to move them. I would recommend something heavy if a child is just moving their belly up and down quickly, the heavier an item the more it will require them to slow down a bit as it involves more core strength. Some weighted items that could work at home are canned goods (if they are able to balance it), a book, a bag of food such as rice or beans, etc.  Encourage them to be creative.  I have even had parents in the past create a weighted stuffed animal by sewing beans or rice into the animal or putting beans or rice in a sock.

Please feel free to practice this at home with your children.

Have a good day!

Sara Probasco, MOT OTR/L