Childhood could be tricky. Their world’s are ever-changing. They are learning, failing and growing each day. Sometimes during a fast paced day, all they need is a moment to sit and breathe.
Cue Pawz The Calming Pup by hand2mind. When Pawz is in “Mindfulness Mode,” there are three different breathing patterns that kids can practice to increase self-awareness and encourage concentration. With a touch of a paw [button!], different breath cycles are initiated.
Don’t worry about counting your breaths, since Pawz’ color gets brighter for an inhale and dimmer for an exhale. The blue cycle is a 4×4 breath. Children breathe in for 4 seconds, hold their breath at the top, then exhale for 4 seconds. This is done four times. The yellow cycle encourages laddered breathing where the inhale/exhale cycle starts at 3 seconds, then 4 seconds, etc. Lastly, the green cycle is a square breath. As the light gets brighter inhale for 5 seconds – then hold breath for 5 seconds – and exhale for 5 as the light dims.
Each of these breathing cycles can increase mindfulness in children and promote patience. When kids are feeling a loss of control with many variables in their environment, it can be hard for them to just take a breath. When the feelings are big, kids find comfort in this cute little pup to guide them through a visual activity, while their caregiver is close by.
With any kind of great toy, the magic happens when a caregiver is near. Counting together and then talking through how the breath felt was helpful in calming our little toy tester. Once we were both calm (thanks to breath cycles led by Pawz), we could talk through those big feelings, building social-emotional and coping skills.
Pawz also works great before transitions, like mealtime and bedtime. In our busy world, it can be a bit over-stimulating and sitting on the couch for a “blue cycle” helped in being present in the moment together.
When we’re not using Pawz for calming, he’s also a nightlight (that can be set on a timer too). He lights up the bedside blue, yellow, white, purple, or green. With a rechargeable USB battery that makes usability a breeze. This cute and calming pup is a great choice to build social-emotional skills and well being.