Breathing a Rainbow
The folks at BeetleDoo are back again with another song and video to help calm down wiggly, distracted kids when they need it the most. (Late afternoon witching hour, anyone?) The Rainbow Breath Singalong helps kids slow down their breathing and gradually relax their bodies as they visualize inhaling and exhaling each color of the rainbow.
Why are these songs and videos so effective? First of all, by luring kids into relaxation with a fun, screen-based activity rather than telling them they have to participate in something that is going to calm them down (or worse, actually telling them to calm down), your kid (ahem, my kid) won't anticipate being pulled out her aroused state and those feelings of resistance won't stand a chance.
More importantly, slowed breathing is the most effective tool that we have for cueing a slew of other physiological and mental functions to start the relaxation (or even sleep) process. Slowed breathing lowers heart rate, improves digestion, and leads to a general sense of well-being and safety in the brain. (All of this has to do with the body being signaled that it's not in fight or flight mode and there's no need to hunt or flee, so it's okay to curl up and get some rest until the next hunt or escape.)
Not into screens for your kids? That's okay, too. The song works great without the video, and kids will love to visualize inhaling and exhaling the colors of the rainbow. And trust me...I've had the song stuck in my head all morning and I feel very, very calm.