Ocean Wave Breathing

At this station, adults and young children will create ocean waves of feelings and calm down the waves with their deep, slowed breathing.


To learn that deep breathing can help a person calm down.



  1. Form a circle of children & adults — either holding  hands or, each person holding the sheet with both hands. 
  2. One adult asks: What do the ocean waves look like? How could we make the ocean waves look upset or angry?
    Explain: When I count to three, we are going make the ocean waves look angry with either our arm motions holding hands or with waving the sheet. If you are holding hands, be sure you are safe and don’t hurt the person as you show angry waves (demonstrate what it might look like). When I say “Stop,” we need to stop all movement and sound and listen. 
  3. Next, the adult leader can sing the following words to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” (adult can sing it once, then sing it all together):
    Listen, Listen to your breath
    Giving life to you
    Slow it down, and you’ll feel calm
    This is what we’ll do.
  4. Adult asks, “If we want to calm down these ocean waves, we have to take a deep, slow breath in and then, gently blow out to slow the waves.” Adult models first breathing in and then, blowing out while waving the sheet or arms slowly. Children follow. See how slowly you can go.


  • How did you feel when the waves were angry? Was it hard to hang onto each others’ hands or to the sheet?
  • What helped us calm the waves?
  • How did you feel when we calmed the waves?
  • When you feel angry, do you think you could calm down by slowing your breathing?

Activity Source

Jennifer Miller; Confident Parents, Confident Kids

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About this activity…







5-10 minutes