Don’t sit still! Since movement can help students learn better, flexible classroom seating is essential. Now how do you identify the right seat for your child or student? Fortunately, there’s an incredible range of flexible classroom seating such as wiggle seats, wobble stools, fun chairs, seat cushions and ball chairs, in every shape, size and style. First, know the individual’s learning needs before selecting a wiggle seat, ball chair or seat cushion. For example, is the seat for a student who has ADHD or low muscle tone? Or does the student seek out or avoid sensory stimulation? If you’re not sure, consult with an occupational therapist or physical therapist for guidance.
Plan for Flexible Classroom Seating
Be sure your classroom goals align with the sensory needs of the individual. For instance, if your goal is stable seating or sitting still and the individual is a sensory seeker, you may be fighting a losing battle. Sitting still may not be the best learning style and thinking out of the box may be helpful. Perhaps a standing solution or wobble seating is a better fit?
Or if you want a ball chair for active classroom work and your child is a sensory over responder, this may increase anxiety levels. One good rule of thumb is evaluating the child and seeing what types of surfaces they tend to prefer. Which material do they migrate towards? This may help you decide. But keep in mind that a bouncy chair may not be best for a highly active child and a beanbag may not be best for a under responsive student even though they prefer those surfaces.
Surface Options for Flexible Classroom Seating
Take a look at different surfaces for flexible classroom seating. Then you can utilize varying textures to help each student.
Using foam or soft pellets is a great way to create comfort with a seating surface such as a floor cushion, beanbag chair or seat cushion. Foam tends to hug the bottom to the ground and can be a great tool for anxious learners or even sensory seekers who benefit from seating with a soft bottom.
Using Movement or Active Seating
Using a gel cushion or air cushion can provide gentle movement under a bottom to support just enough fidgeting to encourage alertness. This can be great for under responsive learners or individuals with low muscle tone. The gentle movement encourages muscle contraction and a higher state of muscle awareness. A wobbly seat like a ball or stool can also be terrific for students with low tone or sensory seekers.
Calming with Compression Seating
Sometimes a student with ADHD or sensory integration disorder may benefit from a seat that hugs and holds the body. This can be something like a Squeezie Seat, canoe, or a cushion combined with a lap pad on top.
Stability Can Enhance Comfort Seating
Sometimes a plastic children’s chair can provide stability and muscle awareness. A firm surface or cube chair can also be used for a more grounded affect. Even a plastic seat can be flexible, not still, though children with developmental disabilities may benefit from a secure seat.
Energize with Swing Seating
Not every teacher has the option of using a swing in their classroom but if you do or if you are home schooling, a swing chair is a great tool. It provides just the right amount of vestibular input to increase alertness, allows for a change from sitting in front of a computer, and is a secure place to calm and re-energize.
Next Steps for Flexible Classroom Seating
For next steps and help with Flexible Classroom Seating, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also shop for Alternative Classroom Seating at FunandFunction.com today.
Of course, whichever seat you choose, remember to stand up periodically! Why? Because movement breaks help promote learning. Get fresh ideas at Go Noodle. Lastly, download our popular Activity Guide with 10 Minute Strategies.