Looking to implement flexible seating in your classroom next year, but not sure what seats to start with? Let me tell you about some of my absolute favorites! Be sure to check out my blog about partially flexible seating, if you are not ready to nose-dive right into having a fully flexible classroom.
Before we get started, let me preface by saying that there are flexible seating options for budgets of ALL kinds. If you are struggling to set a budget, think about starting a Go Fund Me or Donor’s Choose classroom crowdfunding campaign to start with some of the costs. Seats can be as cheap as a $1 clipboard or as fancy as a $120 chair.
Bintiva fitness makes these adorable and squishy soft seats. Students love to use these as a backrest, pillow, carpet square or for their bottom. Kids love these seats more than you would expect. Think about it, would you rather sit on a hard chair, or a soft pillow? Get these from Bintiva Fitness on Amazon in six fun colors.
Scoop chairs are definitely a favorite among the littles. These are perfect for read to self, though the kids will try to use them for everything! Get these gems on Amazon in a colorful pack of 6, or they can also be sporadically found on Wayfair or at Big Lots for slightly cheaper.
Some teachers have a love/hate relationship with hop balls… however, I LOVE them! These are SO beneficial for the students that really need to move in order to focus. I am very cautious to go over the rules before bringing them into my classroom, however, I have only had one pop in 2 years due to a true accident. I also let the kiddos get all their bounces out in the first 30 seconds, then they know they need to be focused. Waliki Toys makes the BEST hop balls because the legs help keep the ball in place while the kids are on it.
Perhaps the most original flexible seat, my kids love wiggle seats for many reasons. They can sit or stand on them, and choose the soft side or the pokier side. Kids love these to wiggle back and forth while still having the stability of an actual chair underneath them. There are lots of great brands, but Yogu has been my favorite so far.
Hokki stools also known as wobble stools are expensive, but are SO worth it! They are incredibly durable, won’t tip over and are the perfect in between step from a hop ball to a regular chair. Students can literally wobble all around while staying in a stationary spot. I absolutely love the ones that I have from VS America. Don’t forget – these might be the perfect thing to get through crowdfunding!
Not ready to dive all the way in? These bands that you can attach to any chair are a great way for kids to kick out their fidgets while keeping the top of their body in check. I LOVE the Kickfix Brand because they are SO durable. I haven’t had any break, and they are strong enough that they also do not roll up the chair. Even with all the options we have, I still have some kiddos opt for just a regular chair with a fidget band.
A completely free option, some students just aren’t in the mood to sit. Try raising a table as high as you can in your classroom, and see how many students might want to work there! It also works the opposite, some kids just want to sit on the ground. These smaller tables can be found in the Target College section or at IKEA for $5-10.
These are great for students that want to work on the carpet or around the room, but still need a surface to write on. The kiddos love that they have little containers on the side to store their pencils or extra books. While you CAN get these on Amazon, I highly recommend looking at Michaels or the Target Dollar Spot, as they often go on sale for $5 at those locations.
My kiddos love these standard stools. They’re colorful, fun and comfortable. These were some of my original flexible seats, and no matter how many times they have been dropped on the floor, they have remained in tact. Snag these from Norwood Furniture on Amazon.
Don’t underestimate the comfort of a regular chair. Some students DON’T want to wiggle, or need a break from wiggling. Make sure you don’t get rid of every standard option.
Basic clipboards have been a MUST have when implementing flexible seating. Students might be working anywhere around the room, and you want them to have the support under their paper to allow them to do their best possible writing. I LOVE these colorful clipboards from Amazon Basics, but clipboards can also be found anywhere!
Yoga Ball Chair
Who says that only the students get to be flexible? This chair has been my absolute FAVORITE and is way more comfortable than I anticipated it being. I keep it at my back table and use it all day long. I absolutely love the Gaiam Yoga Ball Chair.
Keeping It Organized
Be sure that you introduce each seat slowly and fully to your kiddos before just letting them go at it. One way that I like to stay organized and consistent is by having my expectations for each type of seat clearly posted for students to refer to. This prevents a lot of possible breakage of expensive items and also gives students a visual to refer back to. Snag these editable anchor charts on Teachers Pay Teachers.
It took a long time to curate all of these favorite seats of mine. You don’t have to go in all at once, but I do highly encourage you starting small and growing your collection. I also had parents that were more than willing to help out with collecting flexible seats for the kiddos once they saw the benefits that they truly provided.
Please also note, there are Amazon affiliate links included in the blog post above. However, I have only recommended resources that I have actually used tried and true in my classroom for YEARS.