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When Do Kids Start Sitting Still?

By Tara Drinks

At a Glance

  • Most young kids can’t sit still for long periods of time.

  • Sitting still is a skill that kids develop over time.

  • Some kids have a harder time sitting still than others.

When it’s story time in the pre-K room, how many kids sit still until the end? Some? Most? All?

What about second grade? How many kids would be able to sit quietly then?

Sitting still isn’t exactly a natural state for lots of young kids. Many of them can’t sit still for more than a few minutes. But in school, they’re expected to do it for longer stretches of time.

So, when can most kids sit quietly without fidgeting, squirming, or moving around? Read on to learn more.

When Do Kids Usually Start to Sit Still?

Sitting still is a skill that develops over time. You can expect only so much of kids at certain ages. For example, very few 4-year-olds could get through an hour-long school concert without needing to move around. Ten minutes is more like it. But most 9-year-olds can make it at least halfway.

Not all kids develop at the same rate, especially young kids. But there are typical ages when kids are able to sit still for certain amounts of time:

  • 3-year-olds: 5–10 minutes

  • 5-year-olds: 15 minutes

  • 7-year-olds: 25 minutes

  • 10-year-olds: 40 minutes

Some kids have a harder time sitting still than others. That’s not unusual. But knowing why can help.

Why Some Kids Have Trouble Sitting Still

There are lots of reasons why kids might have trouble sitting still. Sometimes it’s because they’re worried or anxious about something. Other times, they can be too excited about an event that’s coming up soon, like a birthday or a trip to the toy store. They might also be tired or hungry.

Trouble with focus can also be a factor. Some kids get bored quickly, and some just need to move around a lot. Taking short “ brain breaks” can sometimes help, especially when kids have trouble sitting still for homework and other tasks. They can do physical activities or quiet ones during the breaks.

There are other ways to help kids be able to sit still. Learn about using fidgets. Teach your child how to focus on what’s happening now. And if you wonder whether your child is having trouble with sitting still and focusing, get tips for talking about it with the teacher.

Key Takeaways

  • At different ages, most kids can sit still for certain lengths of time.

  • Anxiety, excitement, and trouble with focus can play a role.

  • There are ways to help kids get better at sitting still and focusing.

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  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
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  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom