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.
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.
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
Want to print this off and use it as a poster or visual reminder for deep breathing exercises? Enter your email address in the form below and you’ll receive a printable PDF of this heart shaped deep breathing activity.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.