Sit Smart, Not Still – Best Seating for Classrooms
Is it necessary for children to sit still to attend in circle time? Let’s talk about creative seating in the classroom. As adults, we make sure to “get comfortable” before focusing on things we want or have to do, whether it’s paying bills at the table or watching T.V. on the couch. We do it automatically – we shift our weight or add a pillow under our legs without even thinking about it! When your seating arrangement is comfortable, you are able to give your full attention to the task at hand without having to think twice about how your body is positioned. Like adults, kids need to be comfortable and “situated” in order to focus, especially in school. Sometimes, finding comfortable and focus-inducing seating for the classroom requires creativity and flexibility!
“Sitting Smart”- Benefits of flexible seating options:
- Movement Opportunities: Moving your body helps increase blood flow to the brain, which improves focus and attention & reduces stress. Movement options while sitting in the classroom can involve small, minor movements/wiggles or large bounces/shifts to facilitate organized engagement in those wiggles and promoting increased focus.
- Something for Everyone: Providing a variety of seating options encourages kids to explore and figure out what helps them learn best – we are all different! Allow a child to select what helps them most provides a sense of ownership and self-awareness that will allow for increased engagement in their task, their way!
- Motivation: Having fun seating options is a way to motivate kids to want to come to school and learn. Increasing the intrigue with novel seating arrangements improves a child’s willingness to approach a seated task that might otherwise be “boring” or “too hard”.
Here are some seating options to help kids improve focus and participation while seated in the classroom:
Floor Chair with Back Support -Postural stability is key!
Fidget Band for Chair -Gives kids an opportunity to move their legs and improve focus
Wiggle Seat – Movement and input while sitting are super motivating!
Exercise Balance Ball – Provides range of motion opportunities
Wedge Seat positions pelvis for upright posture
Beanbag Chair – Available at Walmart
If these seating options aren’t providing everything your kids need to be successful, BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy offers free screenings to give your child the necessary tools to improve participation and function at home and in school.
By Jade Pellerito, OTR