Heart Deep Breathing Exercise

heart deep breathing exercise printable

This quick deep breathing exercise has a heart theme, and it’s a fun mindfulness exercise for kids. You may have seen our other deep breathing exercises here on the site. These are all themed activities that encourage deep, mindful breathing as a coping strategy, and they are based on themes that kids can recognize and relate to. This heart activity acts as a coping tool that fits perfectly with our occupational therapy Valentine’s Day activities.

Deep breathing heart activity for kids to use in mindfulness exercises or deep breathing exercises as a coping strategy.

Heart Deep Breathing Exercise

I love this quick mindfulness activity, because it is based on a shape that everyone knows. Use the picture and the arrows to take deep breaths in and out as you trace along the outer edge of the heart image.

Kids can use this heart breathing activity as a mindfulness strategy or as a sensory coping tool to help with self-regulation and coping skills.

On-the-go-mindfulness

Sometimes, coping strategies are needed when out and about or when a coping toolbox is not available.

Having a set of strategies to reset is helpful. That’s where this mindfulness tool comes into play. There are a couple of ways to use this heart deep breathing exercise without the actual image.

Start by teaching kids about breath control.

Then, try this strategy to use deep breathing when the need comes up, no matter where the child is, and what specific coping tools they have available. For this activity, all they’ll need is their hands.

Because a heart shape is such a well-know image, kids can use the heart shape and picture a heart in their mind. Then, show them how to draw a heart on the palm of their hand using their pointer finger of the other hand.

They can practice taking deep breaths in and out as they trace the imaginary heart on their palm.

This is a deep breathing tool that goes anywhere they do!

Another idea is to draw a heart on paper. When they trace around the heart, show kids how to take deep breaths in and out.

Just use the printable version as a visual example, with the arrows and pause points. They can then use the coping strategy any time.

Free Breathing Exercise Printable

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    Want more heart activities?

    Want to add more Valentine’s Day activities and movement tools to your skill-building?

    he Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

    When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

    Valentines Day fine motor kit

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Valentine’s Day Maze for Visual Perception Activity

    Valentine's Day maze

    This Valentine’s Day maze is an easy DIY visual perception activity that requires only paper and a pencil. Sometimes an activity can be just easy to throw together and the kids love it.  This Heart Maze is a simple visual perception activity that can be adapted to any season or shape.  We used hearts for a Valentine’s Day occupational therapy activity, while practicing visual scanning, visual spatial relations, line awareness, and eye-hand coordination.

    Valentine's Day Maze for working on visual motor skills in occupational therapy interventions with limited materials, perfect for  virtual therapy at home.

    Valentine’s Day maze activity

    This visual perception maze is an easy way to work on visual motor skills needed for tasks like handwriting, reading, and learning. The hearts are placed in a path-like maze that challenges visual perception skills.

    Kids can help with making this Valentine’s Day maze, or you can make a template and copy it over and over again. Let’s discuss how this maze works and how it and other visual perception skills helps kids with reading, learning, reading, and writing.

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Work on visual perception skills with this heat maze, for a Valentine's Day occupational therapy activity

    Visual Perceptual Heart Maze Activity

    How to make a Valentine’s Day Maze

    You need just a few materials for this DIY maze, making this a good occupational therapy intervention for teletherapy.

    So, grab your materials:

    • Paper
    • Pencil or marker
    • Scissors

    We used construction paper to make a heart, but you could use regular paper as well.

    It really doesn’t get much easier.  

    1. Draw a small heart. You can use regular paper or colored paper.

    2. Using scissors, cut out the heart.

    3. Trace the heart on a piece of white paper.

    4. Place the point of the heart into the top of the heart so the hearts are connected. Trace the second heart on the paper.

    5. Continue tracing, positioning the hearts in a line.  You want a “maze” to form around the paper. 

    A heart maze is a fun visual perception activity to use in a Valentine's Day theme occupational therapy activities.

    6. Fill in the blank space with more heart outlines, but this time, rotate the shape so it’s positioned randomly and not as close to the maze.

    Use this Valentine's Day activity to work on visual perceptual skills in occupational therapy goals.

    Next, you can follow the path of hearts and color them in. You could also place small objects on the hearts, like craft pom poms or mini erasers.

    Another option is to use the heart template to cut more hearts from colored paper.  We used a darker shade to work on patterns as we filled in the maze. If two shades of colored paper isn’t available, just use two different colored crayons to color in patterns as the child completes the maze.

    For children who are working on scissor skills, try using a thicker paper for the heart template. Cardstock is a great option because the thicker paper is resistive and offers proprioceptive feedback through the hands. Here is a link to pink card stock.

    For more information on scissor skills and types of paper, try this crash course on scissor skills.

    Visual perception, fine motor, eye-hand coordination, and other skills can be used with this heart maze in Valentine's Day occupational therapy sessions.

    Visual Motor Maze

    There are many visual skills being addressed in this occupational therapy maze activity.

    Lining up the hearts requires eye-hand coordination to position the card stock hearts within the outlines.  Using the hands in a coordinated manner based on visual input is an important skill for many functional tasks including handwriting and scissor use.

    What Are Visual Spatial Relations?

    Visual spatial relations is the ability to identify a form/shape/letter despite being rotated, and identify it as being rotated.  Children need visual spatial relations to identify the difference between a “b” and “d” and “p”, and “q”.  

    This sheet full of hearts that look the same requires the child to identify the hearts that are following a path.  Some of the hearts not along the path are rotated  and the child should be able to identify by scanning, the hearts that are rotated.

    Valentine's Day occupational therapy activities can include this hearth maze to work on visual perception.

    Looking for more Visual Perception Activities?  

    Try these:   Smashing Peanuts Activity

    Elmer the Elephant Activity

    Toys to Improve Visual Perception

    Tangrams and Visual Perception

    Visual Closure Bugs

    Visual Perception Activities

    Visual processing bundle full of resources and tools to work on visual perception and visual motor skills
    Grab the Visual Processing Bundle to better understand visual perception skills through play and hands-on activities.

    Need help fixing visual processing problems?

    Know a student with identified visual processing problems…but difficulties are brushed over or missed in the school setting?

    Have a kiddo on your caseload that struggles with visual tracking, fixation, eye teaming, or visual scanning? 

    Need tools to incorporate visual perception and visual-motor strategies right into the classroom?

    Wondering how to help kids who can not visually attend to an object in order to focus for more than a few seconds?

    The Visual Processing Bundle is a comprehensive resource on oculomotor skills, visual perception, visual-motor skills. 

    Details about The Visual Processing Bundle:  

    • Over 235 pages of tools, activities, resources, informaton, and strategies to address visual processing needs
    • Classroom accommodation ideas for visual perception challenges
    • Checklists for trialing various activities and strategies
    • 2 leveled visual-motor integration workbooks…with data collection tools to monitor progress
    • Pencil control worksheets to integrate visual input and motor work in meaningful ways
    • Classroom activities that can be incorporated into reading, spelling, math, and other subjects…reducing the amount of extra “work”
    • Activity cards to guide therapy warm-up sessions or used in home program development
    • Specific and open-ended activity cards to address visual attention and spatial awareness
    • Visual tracking guide explain components of visual tracking and specific activities to improve tracking
    • SO much more!

    Click here to get the Visual Processing Bundle.

    MORE FINE MOTOR HEART ACTIVITIES

    The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

    When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

    Click here to grab your copy of the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit.

    Valentines Day fine motor kit

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Valentines Day Busy Bag

    Fine motor activity using cookie cutters

    Busy Bag Activities are a great way to learn and play during quiet time or down time.  There’s a lot of learning that happens during activities with kids.  We put together this Valentine’s Day busy bag activity as a way to practice fine motor skills and color sorting.  It’s another Valentines Day occupational therapy activity that builds essential skills.

    Valentine's Day busy bag with fine motor heart activity using cookie cutters and beads.

    Heart Busy Bag Activity

    This sorting heart busy bag is a powerful way to improve in-hand manipulation skills.   In-hand manipulation  is a fine motor dexterity skill needed for tasks like managing clothing fasteners, using a pencil when writing, manipulating items like coins or beads, and more.

    Valentine's Day busy bag color sorting activity with beads for fine motor work and color identification.

    Valentine’s Day Busy Bag Activity

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Work on fine motor skills with this Valentine's Day fine motor activity

    We started with a big bin of  beads and a few heart cookie cutters.  I showed Little Sister (age 3) how to sort the beads by color into the hearts.  She had a blast examining each bead and saying “Oh, this one looks pinkish!  Oh this one looks purple-ish!”  

    Valentine's Day busy bag and fine motor activity for skills like in-hand manipulation.
    Use heart shaped cookie cutters and beads to work on fine motor skills.
    Work on fine motor skills with a Valentine's Day fine motor activity


    Fine Motor Valentine’s Day Activity

    Manipulating the beads in the big bin to grab certain colors works on some great fine motor skills.  You need to pick up the beads with a pincer grasp (tips of the pointer finger and thumb) with fine dexterity.  

    Once she grasped a bead, Little Sister would “squirrel away” the colors into the palm of the hand.  This transfer of beads from the tips of the fingers into the palm of the hand is in-hand manipulation(fingers to palm translation).  

    Manipulating small items like beads in this way works on the muscles of the hands and is a great way to work on pre-handwriting or handwriting skills.  A child needs strength of the intrinsic muscles (the muscles within the hand) to manipulate the pencil and maintain endurance for writing and coloring.

    Work on fine motor skills with this heart Valentine's Day occupational therapy activity.

    More Fine Motor Heart Activities

    The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

    When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

    Click here to grab your copy of the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit.

    Valentines Day fine motor kit
    15 Must-Try Valentine Busy Bags

    Find even more amazing Valentine busy bags

    FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

    Arrow Addition Matching Game // Mama.Papa.Bubba.

    Felt Heart Garden // Powerful Mothering

    LEGO Valentine’s Day Puzzle // Lemon Lime Adventures

    Letter Match Memory Game // The Educators’ Spin On It

    Printable Valentine’s Day Mix and Match Puzzles // Itsy Bitsy Fun

    Printable Conversation Heart Number Book // Playdough to Plato

    Conversation Heart Color Match // Preschool Inspirations

    Valentine’s Day Math Busy Bag // Still Playing School

    3 Low Prep Busy Bags // Lalymom

    Plant Heart Garden // Best Toys 4 Toddlers

    Tic Tac Toe // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

    Valentine’s Day Number Matching // Coffee Cups and Crayons  

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.