This is by far one of my favorite play therapy tools to have available in my office. Online you can find and purchase them as a Hoberman’s sphere. They come in various sizes but this particular one is my favorite. I use this to illustrate taking a deep breath. Children use the sphere to breathe with: breathing in slowly expanding their whole lungs while expanding the sphere, then exhaling slowly with the sphere as they compress it again.
I also use this sphere to show children how when they are upset, their entire lungs do not expand and they breathe more rapidly, moving the sphere open and closed quickly without expanding it all the way. I teach them how this sends a signal to their brains to continue to be upset. I then teach them how breathing slowly and deeply and exhaling even more slowly can send a special message to their brains that they are safe and can calm down.
These can be used with groups and in classrooms! I will allow children to present how to take a deep breath to their entire class using this tool. It’s amazing how much children love it!
Children even come to my office in crisis and often the first thing they go for is the “breathing ball.”
Oh and I am pretty sure they come in an even bigger size and glow in the dark too. 🙂