If you’ve been thinking about encouraging a mindfulness or deep breathing practice with your child, then you’re at the right place! 

The word "mindfulness" has become quite a buzzword in recent years, not only with adults, but even with children. The number of mindfulness programs in schools has increased during the past 15 years. There is overwhelming evidence that practicing mindfulness can help children of all ages to regulate their emotions, reduce stress and anxiety, and even promote quality sleep.

In the UK, the Mindfulness in Schools Project was launched in 2019 to provide mindfulness courses to over 370 schools across the country, introducing relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to school children. A study by Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States found that primary school students increased their sleep time by an average of 74 minutes at night after participating in mindfulness practices. Up to half of this 74 minute average was "rapid eye movement or REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep where most dreams occur. 

I’d like to share with you this fun and easy belly breathing exercise that you can try with your child. This was inspired by one of the many exercises shared in mindfulness educator and author Susan Kaiser Greenland’s book, Mindful Games. With this simple exercise, you’ll be able to introduce and practice mindfulness techniques with your child.


Belly Breathing with a Stuffed Toy: A Fun Exercise for Kids

  1. Find a quiet time when your child is not too stimulated or tired. Ask your child to grab his/her favourite stuffed animal.

  2. Have your child lie on their back comfortably and place the stuffed animal gently on their belly. Speak in a soft, reassuring voice.

  3. Get your child to place a small soft toy (teddy bear, doll etc) on their belly, holding it gently if required.

  4. Instruct your child to breathe in slowly through their nose as you count to 5, watching their stuffed animal rise with their belly.

  5. Then breathe out slowly through their mouth as you count back down from 5. Encourage them to pay attention to the rising and falling without holding their breath.

  6. Repeat this breathing cycle 10 times, counting out the breaths. You may hold hands to help them focus. If your child is aged 8 or above, you may count up to 10.

  7. After the 10th belly breath, ask open-ended questions like "how did that make you feel?" and "what did you notice about your breathing?" to encourage reflection in your child.

  8. Explain that mindfulness can help us to understand and handle our emotions in a healthy way.

  9. Thank your child for practicing this relaxing exercise with you.

This is such a great way (and mindful) to get your child to relax and focus on their breath, in a fun and positive way. It also helps you bond with your child while teaching valuable life skills!



Stephanie Huen
Certified Health Consultant, Pediatric Sleep Expert
Co-Founder of Hush Home and Little Hushies

About Stephanie

Stephanie is the Co-founder of Hush Home and Little Hushies.

As a certified infant and adult sleep expert, she's passionate about educating others on the importance of sleep for overall wellness. Her aim is to promote and encourage optimal sleeping environments through natural, sustainably-made products. 

After her own premature newborn needed help catching up on development, Stephanie delved deeper into studying infant sleep science. This inspired her to launch Little Hushies and develop products specially designed for baby wellness. With backgrounds in marketing and logistics, she brings expertise to both guiding her brands and empowering parents on establishing healthy sleep habits from a young age.

When she’s not pursuing a deep and rejuvenating sleep or spending time with her son, Stephanie can be found on the tennis court or at the piano!