Breathing Bubbles

App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
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Release worries and embrace joys with anxiety-fighting tool.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn powerful emotional-awareness strategies by using Breathing Bubbles. The app asks them to name their emotions (angry, sad, silly, or worried) and their corresponding severity, which may help kids process situations they might normally keep inside. By writing a worry or joy on the digital paper, kids have the opportunity to focus on something concrete instead of dealing with the emotion on their own. Deep breathing as the bubble floats also may encourage kids to be mindful of their bodies and internal emotional thermostats. If used consistently, Breathing Bubbles will give kids an opportunity to manage their thoughts and feelings in a new, empowering way.

Ease of Play

Breathing Bubbles is easy to use by kids who can read and write. Younger kids might need adult help to write down their worries or joys.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Breathing Bubbles is a beautifully designed emotional-regulation tool that helps kids focus on releasing a worry or receiving a joy. This may be especially beneficial for kids who struggle with labeling emotions, moving beyond an event that's causing anxiety, or handling stress in an appropriate manner. Kids are asked to name their emotion, determine how intense it is, and then focus on a digital bubble that contains a user-created worry or joy. Younger kids who struggle with writing independently may need adult help to use this tool effectively. 

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What's it about?

When opening BREATHING BUBBLES, kids are prompted to select an emotion (mad, silly, sad, or worried) and then choose how strongly they're experiencing that emotion. On the next screen, kids decide whether to release a worry or receive a joy. In either instance, the white manatee at the bottom of the screen prompts kids to write a worry or joy. When releasing a worry, the bubble floats further away as Manny helps kids practice deep, slow breathing. When receiving a joy, the bubble comes closer with the same deep-breathing prompts. 

Is it any good?

Breathing Bubbles is a simple, effective tool that will empower kids who usually feel out of control by allowing them a concrete way to cope with strong emotions. They also will practice deep breathing, which could be a calming practice they can internalize and use away from the app. Because it's simple and approachable, most kids will find it easy to use; however, kids who have trouble writing or typing will need guidance to use speech-to-text if they're not familiar with how it works. Having optional sound also might broaden its impact for kids who need text-to-speech to help them read "How to Play" or play music that helps them feel calmer. Also, extension activities to help kids apply what they learn from using the app would deepen its impact.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how different people handle emotions in different ways. Talk about what makes individual family members worry and then compare them. Decide the best way to handle moments when kids feel anxious and make a plan for how they can manage their fears or worries in a safe way.

  • Ask kids which everyday events bring them joy. As they learn to name the positive encounters in their lives or the things that make them happy, they might be able to focus on those during anxious times in the future.

App details

For kids who love learning about feelings and focus

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