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In the past are the times of traditional rows of metal desks facing the front of the classroom. Today’s classroom environment is flexible, collaborative, and engaging. It’s differentiated, focused, and fun for students.
And it’s perfect for any classroom. More importantly, it’s perfect for your special education classroom.
But there are soooo many options when it comes to flexible seating, which is great! …andddd overwhelming all at the same time. It’s kind of like going to Homegoods in search of that one Rae Dunn mug, and finding 30. #yeahIwentthere
Either way, I have a few recommendations for flexible seating options for your special needs classroom. Tried and true by myself and my friends, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
Before we get started, I want to let you know that you can click on any of the images to shop that flexible seating option right on Amazon. Some links are affiliate links, and the pennies I earn for click-throughs help keep this blog running. 🙂
[ Purchase here on Amazon. ]
The one resource classroom in my school has a few of these desks and they. are. amazing! You can the “traditional” school desk height for sitting or you can make them standing desks. The little bar at the bottom is for a student to swing with his or her feet. I can attest to this desk being legit… I think all desks should have those swinging feet bars.
The bungee chairs… for a special needs classroom… can kind of either be a distractor (think of a sensory bungee playground), but it could also be a great reward for a student.
Yoga mats are a great flexible seating option, and they’re relatively cheap. I’ve heard of teachers cutting one mat in half to get 2 flexible seating options out of 1 mat.
Yoga balls are great to use at any student desk or table in your classroom. As with anything, you will need to talk with your students about appropriate use of the yoga ball in the classroom. 😉
[ Purchase floor pillows at Lakeshore Learning. ]
Not only are these pillows great for sensory use in the classroom, they’re great for getting work done too. We have a light blue giant calming pillow in our classroom, and we can fit 2 students on it comfortably.
My one student also like to sit on it and hop around on it like it’s a horse… so there’s that imaginative and dramatic play aspect to it too 🙂
The IKEA stacking stools are where it’s at. They easily stack up to save space in the classroom and they’re super inexpensive (I think like $5 a seat!).
I feel like bean bag chairs were so 90’s … but they’re a thing again! At least in the classroom… and the kids love them!
I have this love-hate with bean bag chairs. If it pops or gets a hole, those little styrofoam beads. get. everywhere. and they stick. to. everything. Although having a student vaccuum up the little beads is a great life skill.
BUT bean bag chairs are easy to fix and now you can buy more bead filling. 🙂
Lap desks come in many shapes, sizes, and colors… and are very versatile desks for students to work on.
Just stack them for storage, which also helps save a ton of space!
Our OT has so many different variations of these wobble seats, so I would definitely check with your OT before purchasing any for your classroom.
These seats are also great for sensory input and output for students who need it. You can get them filled with sand or different sized beads, or the more traditional ones that you just pump with air.
Wobble stools… Hokki stools… they’re pretty much the same thing.
They come in a variety of stool heights and they’re great because, well, they wobble. Students can move and “wobble” to get the sensory input or output they desire, while working.
Scoop seats went c.r.a.z.y. this past summer because so many of you were literally scooping them up for super low deals at WalMart.
From my experience, these are great for younger elementary students, but I have heard of third and fourth grade teachers using these in their flexible seating classrooms as well.
Carpet squares! Clipboards! Working hard, oh my … okay, that was corny. But really. Carpet squares and clipboards.
In liu of carpet squares, you can use hoola hoops to determine a student’s work space. Pool noodles taped into a circle shape. Anything to gives students a defined work space and personal space bubble.
If you’re looking for some great resources for Flexible Seating, from parent information brochures, to seat check-ins and editable rule posters… stop by Just a Primary Girl’s TPT Store. She is THE person to go to (IMO) for Flexible Seating.
Flexible seating is a great quick and easy accommodation that you can add implement in the classroom to help friends who have difficulty sitting in a typical chair during the day. Learn more about accommodations vs. modifications here.
Do you utilize flexible seating in your classroom? Tell us how in the comments!