Mastering belly breathing for kids is a great life skill. Being able to calm yourself is an important technique that we don’t often talk about…especially with kids. These belly breathing steps by Elmo and monster meditation ideas work for kids of all ages, even the younger kids. Learning belly breathing and basic meditation would be an excellent addition to practice at home or in the classroom.

Rosita teaches calming belly breathing on Sesame Street
Rosita will teach us how to calm down in a fun and easy way!

Calming Exercises & Activities Kids Can Do

Kids have all sorts of big feelings. They may feel sad, nervous, or frustrated, just to name a few feelings. And they may have trouble calming down.  Sesame Street to the rescue, once again!

Related: Here’s What It’s Like To Parent With Anxiety

Through videos with some our favorite Sesame Street characters, the Muppets are here to offer some pretty fabulous kid-appropriate calming techniques. 

Calming Techniques for Kids

Rosita knows what kids are going through right now — because she also gets frustrated when she can’t go to the park with Elmo! To help her calm down, she practices ‘belly breathing.’

Belly Breathing Technique for Kids with Rosita

In the Sesame Street video she teaches kids how to calm down by focusing on their breathing through belly breathing. She encourages kids to put a hand on their belly, breathe in through their nose, and breathe out through their mouth. 

Watch Video to See Rosita Demonstrate Belly Breathing

Steps for Belly Breathing for Kids

  1. Put your hands on your belly.
  2. Take a deep breath through your nose.
  3. Slowly breath out through mouth…and it is good to have a little sound!
  4. Repeat

When I showed my kids the video, they copied her every move of the belly breathing technique. They loved watching one of their favorite Sesame Street characters teach them how to catch their breath and calm down. And I know we’ll be using this ‘belly breathing’ technique in the future! (This calming technique with Rosita originally aired during the CNN and Sesame Street Town Hall).

Sesame Street also launched a series of ‘Monster Meditations’ in partnership with Headspace helping people with mindfulness and meditation.

By featuring our favorite furry monsters from Sesame Street, they’re able to teach little ones how to meditate in a way that’s kid friendly and accessible. This meditation is a good one when you are waiting on something to keep the anxious feelings in check. The first video was with Cookie Monster, who, let’s be honest, can get super excited when he knows he’s about to get some cookies!

To help him calm down, he does a Monster Meditation focused on using his senses. But what happens when he uses his senses to smell cookies in the oven? He gets super excited again!

To help him relax, he does what Rosita does: belly breathing

Steps for ‘I Sense’ Monster Meditation

This is a game of I Spy but with our 5 senses.

  1. Start with a belly breath — see instructions above — to begin game with FOCUS.
  2. Can you spy something with sense of smell?
  3. With that smell in your nose, can you spy something with your sense of touch?
  4. With that {softness/other} in your mind, can you spy something with your eyes?
  5. While focusing on {what you saw}, can you spy something with your sense of hearing?
  6. While focusing on {what you heard}, can you spy something with your sense of taste?
  7. Repeat or play once!

Belly breathing truly is an amazing technique that helps kids slow down and calm down. And as you can see in the two examples above it can be done anywhere for a multitude of reasons!

Sesame Street IG Post Kindness is not canceled
Love this Sesame Street IG Post!

Why Are Belly Breathing Exercises So Important?

Did you know when children get upset their heart rate and blood pressure goes up? Same with stress. And when children become overstimulated they can have a fight or flight response which causes chest breathing or shallow breathing which doesn’t allow them to calm down.

Deep abdominal breathing is a great way to help a child bring down their stress levels. And Sesame Street is the perfect way to learn these simple relaxation skills in ways kids can understand.

And with anxiety disorder on the rise in children learning relaxation techniques is a must to keep anxiety down, stress down, and to keep normal breathing during difficult times. We may not think kids have too much to worry about, but if you think back to being a kid, we all know that isn’t true. Stress management is a must for not only younger kids, but older kids as well.


In addition to these fabulous calming techniques for kids, Sesame Street recently created a wealth of new resources that kids are loving. There’s virtual play dates with Elmo, snack chats with Cookie Monster, and phone calls with their favorite Sesame Street muppets.

Bonus: you can even read 100 Sesame Street books for free

Will you be trying Rosita’s belly breathing or monster meditation techniques with your kids? 

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