Worry Group Art Activity: Controlled Breathing Waves

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about a worry monster that students can make while practicing deep breathing in worry group. In that activity, students use watercolors and straws to create a worry monster all while practicing controlled breathing. If your students enjoy creating art while practicing their worry management strategies, they’ll love this deep breathing painting worry group activity!

Worry group activity: Teach your students to practice controlled breathing and then complete an art activity to help your students visualize the breathing pattern. Great for small group counseling or individual counseling to teach calming strategies!

Worry Group Activity: Controlled Breathing Waves

Supplies

For the art component of the activity, you’ll nee these supplies:

  • large pieces of butcher paper or extra large sketch pad paper
  • Paint of choice
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper plate (for paint)
  • Water to rinse brushes

Controlled Breathing

First, teach your students to practice controlled breathing. Guide them to breathe in through their mouths, slowly as they completely fill their lungs and their chests and bellies expand. Then, they will slowly release the breath through their mouths, spending a few additional seconds releasing the breath. You may want to count breaths for your students (count to 5 as they inhale and 7 as they exhale) or teach them your preferred method of controlled breathing!

Art Activity

After practicing controlled breathing, students will paint their breaths. You may choose to create an ocean and then add waves with the breaths or simply paint the rhythm of breathing. Students will move their brushes up as the inhale and fill their lungs and move their brushes down as they slowly exhale, releasing the air. Painting the waves will helps students to visualize the breathing pattern, noting that the exhale is longer than the inhale.

It really is as simple as it sounds! Here’s a quick video demonstration (and I’m certainly no artist, so here’s proof anyone can give it a try):

Afterwards, have students analyze their waves, looking for patterns or changes. They may see that one particular breath was shorter than others or that their breathing was pretty even. Encourage your students to imagine these painted waves as they use controlled breathing to calm their worries as a reminder of the rising inhale and deeper falling exhale.

How do you teach your students to control their breathing? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to check out these other counseling art activities!

Happy Counseling! -Counselor Keri

Worry group activity: Teach your students to practice controlled breathing and then complete an art activity to help your students visualize the breathing pattern. Great for small group counseling or individual counseling to teach calming strategies!

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