calming activity

This is a great calming activity or coping tool to use when students need to cool down after an active lesson, are having a stressful moment, or need an emotion regulation strategy.

While based on the active rest between each Zoo Academy assessment scene, geared towards K-1 students, this calming activity could be used with students of any age.

While struggling with anxiety a couple years ago, a therapist recommended I try square breathing. This breathing technique goes like this:

Breathe in for four seconds
Hold for four seconds
Breathe out for four seconds
Hold for four seconds

I’m not sure what makes it work, whether it’s the act of breathing that is calming, the specific timing of this technique, or the fact that you have to concentrate and count to do it correctly so you aren’t focused on whatever’s worrying you. But it really is a very calming activity.

So when I needed to design an active rest to give little ones a break between each scene of Zoo Academy, I knew I wanted it to involve deep breathing.

Students will use Lester the bird’s flying to visualize when to breathe. When Lester flies up, they’ll breathe in, and when Lester flies down, they’ll breathe out.