As educators, we play an important role in helping children learn how to manage big feelings. Being able to navigate emotions such as anger and frustration is a foundational element of healthy social-emotional development.
We can support young children by showing them mindfulness practices that help them calm down and self-soothe when they are feeling overwhelmed. SEL-focused organization, Pawsitive Choices, offers free, printable breath-work cards that remind them to take deep, soothing breaths in the face of stress. Each card features a fun, friendly animal or nature visual that makes the practices approachable and enjoyable for young children.
Some of the exercises featured on the printables include…
- Butterfly Breaths: Put your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder so that your elbows are pointing to the ground. Your fingers (wings) gently tap your shoulders while you breathe.
- Volcano Breaths: Put your hands together. Your elbows are pointing out as if they are on a table. Breathe in and bring your hands up toward the sky. Breathe out letting your hands (lava) fall down to your sides.
The cards, available to print for free, can be hung in your classroom, shared with parents, or pulled out during moments of high stress. Find the free, printable cards here.
About Pawsitive Choices
Pawsitive Choices was started by Lindsey Kealey, who teaches in the education department at Oregon State University. Her university work, as well as her experience teaching, helped her craft a curriculum that integrates neuroscience, social and emotional learning, and problem-solving into a program that helps children thrive.
More free resources are available from Pawsitive Choices, including videos, coloring pages, and additional printables.