Worry Group Art Activity: Lazy 8 Painting

I’m back with another post in the group art activities series! Lazy 8 breathing is a really common strategy in which students trace a number 8 while controlling their breathing. As they drag their finger around the smaller loop of the 8, they inhale, and as they trace the larger loop of the 8, they exhale. It’s a really effective strategy for practicing deep inhales and elongated exhales for controlled breathing to slow respiratory and heart rate. In this activity, instead of finger tracing an 8 while controlling their breathing, students will paint an 8.

Lazy 8 breathing: paint during lazy 8 deescalation breathing as a calming strategy. This is a great activity for a worry group or stress management group or for teaching calming strategies during classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling.

Group Activity: Lazy 8 Breathing Painting

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 can begin by giving students an 8 to trace with arrows to guide their direction as the inhale around the small loop and exhale around the large loop.

Art Activity

After practicing lazy 8 breathing, students will paint their breaths. Add a large amount of paint to the paper and have students begin their controlled breathing while dragging their brushes through the paint to create a number 8. Continue breathing this way  until all of the paint has been spread throughout the number.

Check out these other art activities to use in your groups to manage worry or stress! And be sure to hop on my mailing list to be notified when there are more activities to try.

Happy Counseling! -Counselor Keri

Lazy 8 breathing: paint during lazy 8 deescalation breathing as a calming strategy. This is a great activity for a worry group or stress management group or for teaching calming strategies during classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling.

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