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Humming Bee Breathing

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When anxiety or tension take over the dinner table, humming bee breathing comes to the rescue! Help kids learn to take calming breaths with this fun activity adapted from Cool, Calm, and Connected by Dr. Martha Straus. You can even make a ritual out of doing a minute of humming bee breathing at the start of every family meal!

To practice humming bee breathing:

  • Take turns closing your eyes and plugging your ears (you can put your fingers in your ears, press on the cartilage from the outside, place hands over them, or use noise-canceling headphones, depending on each family member’s comfort).
  • Inhale through your nose, and quietly hum an “mmmm” sound as you exhale, trying to sound like a humming bee.
  • Feel the vibrations in your head! Try placing your hands gently on the places where the vibrations are strongest.
  • When one person is done with their humming exhale, they can open their eyes and offer the next turn to someone else.
  • See what happens when you try humming different tones. Go higher or lower. Do the vibrations change? What else is different?
  • After each person has had a few turns, talk about your humming bee breaths. Which sounds and exhales were the most calming?