Helping Children Become Independent Using Breath in the Classroom

Special Education Programs

Last night in my Webinar with Donna Freeman from Yoga for Children with ADHD, I talked about breathing techniques that work well with this population, and are easily incorporated into the classroom. Here is another idea that I tried out today and had great success with.
I made these bracelets with a group of 2nd grade boys. We have been working on breathing techniques in our sessions together, but when they get back to the classroom, they seem to forget to use the strategies when they need them the most. The TAKE 5 Breath is a simple technique. To complete: inhale for a count of 5, hold the breath for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 5 and repeat. These simple bands (rubber bands actually), just serve as a visual reminder to use the breath occasionally in class. Since it is on their wrist, it is also with them when they change classes, go to a special and during lunch/recess. It helps them to be more independent with using the strategies that we learn in yoga.
During our yoga time together, we talked about how we feel after we do our TAKE 5 breath. The first word they thought of was CALM. They then decided that they wanted to think of other “C” words that also described how they felt. They came up with CLEAR and CONTROLLED. We put these words inside the bands so that they could remember those too. The other added benefit from having the band: it actually worked as a fidget for one of the boys and helped him to attend during the class as well.