Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blow Out Your Candles

Kids loooove to blow out candles!  Here's a sensory strategy that will get your child practicing for that next birthday party while helping to calm their bodies to be in a "ready state" for learning.  Most people know that deep breathing is an effective tool for calming however it can be tough to teach that to little ones.  If you need to help a child (or a whole class of children!) calm their bodies when they are upset or just a little too excited, ask them to hold up their "candles" (all 5 fingers); take a big breath (you can model this) and "blow out your candles".  You can model how each "candle" goes down as it gets blown out.  Also model a long slow exhale to get all of those candles down.  If there's still a bit too much fidgeting going on, say "Let's do it one more time.....put your candles UP!".  Again, you'll model taking a big breath and slowly blowing each of the candles.  This is such a quick and easy strategy that doesn't cost a penny and it really does work!  Here are  a few pics of my student utilizing the candle technique:

When might you use this strategy?  It works great for group time on the carpet, lining up and getting ready to leave the classroom, or maybe if a little friend needs help to stop crying.  It's a technique you can use on a daily basis, once a day or several times a day.  It also helps when you use a calm voice when modeling the technique for the child.  Give it a try!

Jen Dermody, OTR/L


  1. I love this simple and easy technique to calm children. Thanks for sharing. Just posted it on my Facebook page.

  2. Thank you! I hope others will find it as helpful as I have :)