Balloon Breathing: Using breathing to help regain control
When young children are experiencing extreme emotions it is often hard for them to express themselves in a comprehensible and safe manner. De-escalation activities help young children return to a neutral emotional state so they will be able to discuss their emotions and the problem they are facing.
For this activity start by placing both hands flat on top of your head. Take several deep breaths and raise your hands. Try to make a large circle above you, like a balloon. Then breathe out slowly, making sizzling breath sound. As you let the air out of your mouth, flatten your body onto the floor or mat as much as you can. Then invite your child to do the same thing.Repeat this activity several times. Talk about how you are feeling after you finish each cycle of breath.
For example, you could say something like, "I feel silly when I breath all my air out and make balloon sounds. Then I feel calm." After you can ask your child how they feel after they breath like a balloon.
Use the graphic below to help explain to your child how they can move their body to simulate being a balloon.