Flexible seating has been a hot topic for a while now. Long gone are the days where the only seating option in any classroom is strictly a traditional desk. Offering a variety of seating options in can provide many benefits for all students. Today, I will highlight ten of the most common flexible seating options that I have seen used in classrooms I have worked in and why you might consider them for your students.
1. Ball Chair
This is one of the first seating options I saw brought into the classroom years ago. Sitting on a therapy ball provides an opportunity for a little movement and also works on core strength and posture. There are so many options. You can simply have a therapy ball placed directly on the floor, or you can have a therapy ball in a stand or a rolling frame just like a chair. The balls that have a frame tend to give more stability and security.
2. Hokki Stool
This is a seating option that I have seen more recently in many of my younger elementary classrooms. This stool provides a lot of opportunity to rock, tilt and spin. It is great for a vestibular seeker. The student will need to have good core strength and balance to benefit from this chair, otherwise they may find the act of trying to sit in the chair more challenging than intended, which may impact the possible benefits of the movement.
3. Move n Sit Cushion
This is another very common, affordable and easy option for the classroom. There are many varieties of this cushion – some are smooth, some are textured, some are flat and some are angled. They all are inflated and therefore give the opportunity for a little bit of movement. They are portable, so they can be easily moved between classrooms or used on the floor for circle time and then on the chair at a desk/table.
4. Rocking Chair
This is a great option for the vestibular seekers. Just make sure the child doesn’t rock too hard and tip back! Almost every early childhood room I worked in had a rocking chair. It is a great way to incorporate an opportunity for some calming vestibular input.
5. Cube Chair
This is another option that has been in every early childhood classroom I have worked in! I love that it can be flipped over to create a deeper seat, which is great for the students who need a little more structure and definition in their seating.
6. Video Game Chair
I love this option for my older students. It is age appropriate and something that they may also have at home as an option. This chair provides a nice opportunity to get vestibular input just like the rocking chair, but may be more appealing to older students.
7. Laundry Basket
This is a fun and affordable option for students who need a little more structure to their seating. In one classroom I used to work in, we used these in early childhood during circle time and it worked really well!
Simply standing to work is an awesome (and free!) option! You can look into getting an official standing desk, which raises the workspace up to an appropriate height. Another option is asking your maintenance staff to raise the legs of a table or desk so that it is at a better height for standing.
9. Bean bag chair
I love having a bean bag option for kids who need a little more pressure or calming input. While it may not be the best for working at a table, it is a great option for a quiet space, break time or reading time.
10. Floor sitting
Sometimes it can be a fun option to just allow students to sit on the floor! I have seen teachers use simple pillows or cushions on the floor as options. I love having students lay on their stomachs during play or reading time as that can also work on core strength. Just as you can have a desk or table raised to accommodate standing, I have also seen tables lowered close to the ground in order to accommodate students sitting on the floor.
These are just a few of the many flexible seating options out there. What are your favorites?
This blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your OT for specific recommendations.