Belly Buddies

5 min Kids Activity Meditation & Mindfulness, Breathwork
Relaxing breathwork with a buddy to quickly feel calm.
Belly Buddies

This soothing breathwork activity invites kids and their stuffed pals to embark on a journey of self-discovery together. As children place their cuddly friends on their tummies, they’ll discover how to relax and take deep, calming breaths. They’ll be captivated as they feel their buddies rise and fall with each breath. Beyond the fun, this activity helps kids learn how to use proper deep-breathing techniques to trigger the relaxation response. The movement of the buddy helps build body and breath awareness, which are skills that build emotion regulation.

Materials needed: A small stuffed animal (or bean bag or toy), ideally an object with a bit of weight so a child can feel it moving with the flow of the breath

Step 1: Preparation

Have children lie down comfortably on their backs with their arms relaxed at their sides and their eyes gently closed.

Step 2: Introducing the buddy

Invite children to place their belly buddy gently on their stomach, allowing it to rest comfortably.

Step 3: Setting the intent

Explain to children that they are going to practice a special kind of breathing that helps their bodies feel relaxed and calm. Let them know that their buddies are going to join them on this breathing adventure.

Step 4: Visualizing the breath

Encourage children to imagine that their tummy is like a balloon. As they take a deep breath in, the balloon inflates and their buddy starts to rise, taking a little journey upward.

Step 5: Experiencing the exhale

Explain that as they breathe out, the balloon deflates slowly and their buddy gently comes back down to rest. Emphasize the feeling of calm as their buddy settles back down.

Step 6: Creating smooth movements

Guide children to practice making their buddy’s ride smooth and steady. As they breathe in, the buddy rises, and as they breathe out, it lowers. Encourage them to find a rhythm that feels comfortable and soothing.

Step 7: Practicing together

Lead children in several rounds of this breathing exercise, guiding them through the rise and fall of their buddies with each breath.

Step 8: Closing

Conclude the activity by thanking the children for participating and encouraging them to use this “Belly Buddies” breathing activity whenever they want to feel calm and relaxed. 

  • Breathing with a toy buddy helps kids relax and focus on the practice.
  • As the buddy moves up and down with the breath, kids build body and breath awareness, which are emotion-regulation tools.