Zone'in Training

Science of Attention and Learning

Why Can’t Children Sit Still?

The Importance of Movement and Play for Attention and Learning


Nature designed children’s bodies to move, touch and connect for adequate physical, mental and cognitive development. Attention restorative environments such as “green space” have been shown to significantly reduce ADHD symptoms, yet school and community fears of litigation have dramatically changed how children access outdoor movement and play. Resources that used to go toward playgrounds are now being diverted toward updating schools with technology. Children are physically moving less, and as a result are not getting the necessary motor and sensory stimulation to their vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems, resulting in low postural tone, poor coordination and fluctuating arousal states – important components for printing, reading and paying attention to learn.


Why Can’t Children Sit Still raises awareness about the importance of movement and play in the every day lives of our children and home and school, and how sensory and motor components of movement and play actually promote attention and learning.

Learning Outcomes

  • Relate current “bottom up” research to why children need to move to pay attention and learn.
  • Identify critical factors for child development and learning.
  • Recognize how fear of litigation limits achieving critical factors for development and learning.
  • Explore child nature deficit disorder and apply school, home and community initiatives.


Child Development and Nature Directives
Creating Zone’in Stations
Playground Structures

Who should attend?

Parents, teachers, administrators, special education staff, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, physical therapists, counsellors, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and child care providers. Foundation Series Workshops are designed to be introductory level for therapists, intermediate for teachers and advanced for parents, child care workers and teaching assistants.

Evidence based – Research referenced – Strategy focused

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