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5 Minute Cognitive-Physical Activities to Engage Self-Regulation, Self-Control, Attention, Memory

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Looking for brief cognitive-movement activities to alert your students while engaging self-regulation, attention, and memory?

JOIN US Wednesday, September 22, 2021 @ 4pm EST to learn 8 Cognitive and Motor Activities to Strengthen Executive Functions in Children. These research-supported activities can be done in the classroom, on the playground, in the therapy office, and at home - Grades K-8.

What The Integration of Research Across Many Fields Tells Us - (Kinesiology, neuroscience, education, cognitive science, occupational therapy, and developmental psychology)

  • Physically fit children demonstrate greater attentional resources, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests

  • A growing body of research in children and adults indicates that higher levels of fitness are associated with better control of attention, memory, and cognition.

  • Motor movement primes the brain for the development of cognitive skills, encoding of academic content, and implementation of self-regulation behaviors.

  • Children prone to inattention, agitation, and over-excitability are best to move before disruptive patterns emerge. Frequent movement allows for regulation of internal energy, alerting the attention system, and mood management.

  • Children are best to be moving 30-60 minutes per day in school, we recommend a minimum of 5-minutes of cognitive-motor activity every 45 minutes.

  • The newest research in embodied cognition shows that the cognitive and motor systems are integrally related and suggests that if we want our children to learn better, we need to help them move more.

  • When students and teachers collaborate together in coordinative movement this results in better social cohesion and readiness to learn.


  • Desk Drumming for Better Self-Regulation

  • Upper and Lower Body Paradiddles Teens Love!

  • Fast Neural-Activation Activities

  • Response Inhibition Games

and more....

This is a "donate what you can" virtual event. By donating, you will receive the Zoom Room Link the day before the event. All funding goes directly to support a child in need of mental health services. Thank you! To Register:

Helping to make mental health services affordable for all.

POWERFULPROJECT.ORG Power Up 2021 Speaker Series — The Powerful Project Power Up! 2021 Virtual Speaker SeriesTools & Insights for Optimal Brain-Body Wellness 2021 Speaker Series. Join leading experts in brain health and mental wellness along with invited celebrities who share educational and inspirational webinars in this series starting January 2021. All funds go to support children's mental health.

Join Deborah McNelis with who will be speaking on Thursday, November 18th @ 4pm EST. You can register here: Be on the lookout for more info to come... Tentatively we have this A-Mazing Line Up for 2022: Trey Anthony, Author, Coach, Speaker Thursday, Feb. 3 @ 4pm EST - She is the real deal! Funny, authentic and just pure inspiration. Leah Kuypers, Creator of The Zones of Regulation April 2022 Dr. Paul Nussbaum, Founder and President of Brain Health Center, Inc and specializes in Neuropsychology Fri. May 6 @ 12:30pm EST Carrie Lindemuth and Hanna Bogan, Creators of Brain Talk Sept 2022 Kelly Mahler, Interoception Specialist Nov 2022 Wendy Watkins, Author, Speaker, Coach, Mentor Dec 2022


Jeyanthi S., Arumugam, N., & Parasher, R. K. (2019). Effect of physical exercises on attention, motor skill and physical fitness in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review. Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, 11(2), 125–137.

Mazzoli, E., Salmon, J., Teo, W-P., Pesce, C., He, J., Ben-Soussan, TD., et al. (2021). Breaking up classroom sitting time with cognitively engaging physical activity: Behavioural and brain responses. PLoS ONE 16(7): e0253733. 10.1371/journal.pone.0253733

Watson, A., Timperio, A., Brown, H., Best, K., & Hesketh, K. D. (2017). Effect of classroom-based physical activity interventions on academic and physical activity outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 14(1), 114.

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