Flexible Seating for Teachers Who Hate Flexible Seating

Yep.  I don't hate that other people do it, but it's been pretty much a hard pass for me.  I've wondered why? I'm not a cranky, "those kids can sit in hard seats for hours on it because it will be character" kind of gal.  So, why have I been so NOPE NOT ME with this?  Besides me wondering who's going to buy me new tables and lounge chairs.

Not ready to jump on board with flexible seating and clear out your desks and chairs? Here are some inexpensive ways to still offer students choice without rearranging your entire classroom!
This post contains affiliate links which means Amazon tosses me some change whenever someone makes a purchase through one of these links and allows me feed my book habit!

I read a post on Instagram from Mrs. Russell's Room that helped me understand my resistance. (You can read a blog post about it from her here)


"I will however not spend essential bandwith on more compliance measures to manage kids in all different forms of seating."

Well.  There it is.  While there is some research to support flexible seating (read an article here), FOR ME, the energy put into managing it ends up subtracting way to much.  What should be a good thing ends up in the negative because of the output it takes for me to manage it.

"But you just have to  . . ." Nope.  I have seen the check in/check out, class management charts, maps, plans.  Y'all are rocking it.  I am admitting defeat on this one.

BUT

You can still offer kids choice without clearing out all of your desks and chairs for yoga balls and couches.  I encourage kids to spread out in the classroom and be where they'll work best. Does this take some management? Yep.  So does all of them sitting together at a table.  This is neutral energy output for me.

Here are my favorite affordable flexible seating options for teachers who just aren't ready to clear the room.

Lap Trays

I stalked mine on Walmart's website and ordered when they were $4.  Their prices seem to fluctuate. Right now they're $8.  Don't pay that much. You can also get these on sale during back to school time from Michaels.

Chair Cushions

I got these for $5 from, again, Walmart.  These were by far the most popular items for spreading out in the room.  Depending on your community, I think these would be easy to ask parents for.

Small Tables

The Ikea Lack side tables are $9 (glossy white is more-don't get tricked) and the coffee tables are $30.  I got one of these at the end of the year.  It was a hit.  It was interesting, too, because some kids LOVED it and worked well at it and others had zero interest in it.  Little tables were a bigger commitment for me because they don't just tuck away like the other options.

Laptop Stands

I learned about these Ikea laptop stands from Literacy for Big Kids on Instagram and plan on trying them this year.  At $7, the price is right, and I think the kids will really like them.

Wiggle Seats

Wiggle seats or wobble seats or stability discs (call them what you want) are an option for kids at their desks.  KIDS NEED TO MOVE.  For kids who prefer to work at their desk, these have been really helpful.  Search stability disc on Amazon.  If you search wiggle or wobbles seat, you get THE EXACT SAME ITEMS.  Except they cost more.  The seats I bought were $12ish.
The other side is smooth.  Some kids like the pointy side and some like the smooth.  Just don't make the mistake I did and fill them all the way.  Because then they're just rock hard and don't wiggle.  Fill them up about half way, so they have some give.

Bouncy Bands

Bouncy Bands are my personal favorite.  The first time I tried one out, I was surprised by how soothing it was.  If you're a knee bouncer (raises hand), this is a great movement option.  At $15, they're a little more if you're paying yourself.  Since these and the wiggle seats are available on Amazon, they'd make a great Donors Choose project.  (Read more about my Donors Choose project tips here!)

**Also, CHAIR SIZE MATTERS.  I got the 14"-17" bands and that is the max for a 3rd grade size chair.  I actually had to get my husband to come put them on the first time because I couldn't stretch them enough for the bigger chairs.  Desk bands are available, too.

I've slowly accumulated over the years.  I did a Donor's Choose for Bouncy Bands and Wiggle seats.  Each year I add in one or two things.  This year I'm trying out the laptop stands.  But the desks and chairs? Those aren't going anywhere.

It's okay to be truthful with yourself.  Just because someone TELLS you something is great, doesn't mean it will be great for you.  Lots of y'all are out there making your own baby food with ease, while I gave myself a pat on the back for keeping my own two fed and alive when they were babies.  What's easy for someone else doesn't mean it's going to be easy for you.  And that's just fine.  Rock the academic stuff, create relationship, and keeping growing.

1 comment

  1. I know ~ I'm not on the flexible seating bandwagon either. I've had students who get those cushions and desk bands for OT, and they don't even want them after a day or two! Thanks for your honesty because I totally relate and agree!

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