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Teaching Kids About Breathing by Blowing Bubbles

by Tara West

Bubble blowing is a favorite childhood pastime, but it can also be educational. Bubbles provide fun, visual appeal for showcasing how air, breath and the body work together to form these round spectacles. Bubbles bring breath to life and can provide hours of fun and learning for parents who utilize these simple techniques.

What is Breath?

A child can learn about breath by using hands-on experiments that involve blowing bubbles. The concept of breathing and breath may be difficult for a child to understand since he cannot see a breath. Bubbles take this invisible air and make it visual. Explain to the child that when he breathes he may not see anything coming out of his mouth, but that air is escaping. Have the child blow a bubble and explain that the invisible air is filling the bubbles.

Air Takes Up Space

Bubbles are the perfect way to showcase that air actually has mass and takes up space. The more air the child blows into the bubble, the bigger it gets. Explain to the child that this is due to the fact that air has mass and takes up space. Allow the child to blow small bubbles and large bubbles. Have the child note that larger bubbles contain more air and smaller bubbles contain less. You can then explain that this air is what fills up your lungs and makes your chest expand, in the same way as the bubble, during the breathing process of the body.

Relaxation Breathing Techniques

Bubbles can also be used to encourage relaxation breathing in a child. AnxietyBC suggests using bubble blowing to teach younger kids calm breathing techniques. The long breathes needed for bubble blowing are identical to the breathes needed for relaxation breathing. Have the child blow a long stream of bubbles, and then have them take a two or three second break and blow bubbles again. They point out that it is important to inform the child they are blowing bubbles to learn relaxation breathing and not just for fun. This will encourage the child to try the technique without the bubbles.

Bubble Recipes

You can always go to the store and purchase pre-mixed bubbles, but it is easy to make your own bubble solution at home. Recipes range from simple dishwashing soap and water to more sturdy bubbles that contain glycerin. A combination of dish-washing liquid, water and corn syrup has also been shown to provide a durable bubble solution.

About the Author

Tara West graduated from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in business administration and human resources. West specializes in parenting, green living and career development as a regular contributor at SocialMoms.com. She has been featured on a variety of websites including a childhood favorite, Reading Rainbow.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images