September is the month of changes. The change in season – the cooler temperatures, shorter days, the vibrant transformation of leaves and the change in clothing – time to take out your jackets and boots! For students and educators, September signals the start of a new school year. This means new classes, & new daily routines. Teachers get to see the changes in students’ personalities and appearances after the summer. On this educational adventure with the young ones, it’s also important that you make changes in the classrooms to adapt with the learning needs of students. Seats are especially important because students spend most of their days sitting on them! In this blog, we look at alternative seating – an excellent substitute for traditional classrooms chairs and tables.
- Why Alternative Seating?
When we think of alternative seating, we usually think of yoga balls, or odd-looking seats that allow children to move, interact with. This offsets the common perception of classroom seating, which includes desks, or tables and chairs facing the front of the classroom. Although this is the classic classroom arrangement, tables and chairs are usually inflexible. It’s difficult to move them around, and everyone knows the tedious screeching noise they always make! Sitting in conventional chairs for a long period of time can also result in students sitting in poor posture, and potential health issues in the future. Alternative seating, however, allows children to wobble, rock, bounce, pedal, and so much more. They make it easier to move around and encourage children to be more alert and active. As we all know, physical activity is related to more effective learning, better health, and improved conduct in children.
Adjustable Wiggle Stool has an extra-thick padded seat that allows for comfortable all-day use. The tamper-proof adjustable height reduces distractions and helps promote a focused environment. The base is angled for improved posture and provides stability, even when over-tipped.
Chairs designed for active sitting like the wiggle stool, or balance balls can also promote core strength!
Kids get to choose the seating that best suits their learning style and comfort. By providing students with a variety of seating options, such as bean bags, floor cushions, standing desks, teachers also empower them to make decisions that affect their learning process. As they get to pick the variety of high, medium, low seating, the type of seat, and the space to sit, they will experiment with different options and find out the one that works best for them. This will increase their commitment to learn, spark their creativity and innovative thinking.
Comfort is crucial in the learning process, as an uncomfortable student not only cannot focus on their own tasks, but also potentially influence badly on others. Finding comfortable seating will help students tremendously in their learning, as it helps to improve attention span, concentration, and even reduce stress.
Bean Bag Chair offer relaxed seating that molds the body’s contour! This bean bag is lightweight and is great for individual or social seating.
Bouncyband Sensory Peanut Ball helps calm and relax kids by giving them a sense of security and well-being. The soothing effect relieves anxiety and restlessness and improves concentration and behaviours. The dipped sitting “saddle” position enables greater stability while developing balance and coordination.
Comfortable seating options like bean bags and cushions help children relax and focus on their tasks. When students are comfortable, they are less likely to be distracted!
Alternative seating also stimulates teamwork & communication! They allow students to quickly move around and form teams with each other, without having to move the desks (screeechh!) or move into others’ desks. Compared to traditional desks and chairs where everyone has their own seats – a distinct place and space, alternative seating allows students to have control over the learning environment, and more mobility. The classroom becomes everyone’s space to share! The design of alternative seating also implies a more welcoming, collaborating nature, and will encourage students to communicate and share with each other more. Hence, group work becomes more interactive and engaging!
Sit-N-Gym has little feet to prevent them from rolling away when used as a sitting ball. It encourages dynamic sitting through gentle body movements that improves blood circulation. It also promotes proper body alignment for better posture.
How to spark up a conversation? Hop on this and jump over to your friend!
Alternative seating can fulfill students’ specific needs. Some seats help kids to develop their sense of touch. Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can enjoy alternative seating as they allow them to be active and release excess energy while learning. Students with emotional issues, and prone to stress can rely on alternative seating which has comfortable, soothing design. Every student has a different learning style. Some kids work well in quiet environments like the library, while others strive in an active and dynamic classroom. Alternative seating recognizes this need in students and fulfils it with different options.
BouncyBand Balance Chair reduces fidgeting and increases concentration with an original weighting feature that prevents the ball from rolling, keeping it in place when not in use. Active seating improves focus and provides an outlet for excess energy alleviating anxiety, stress, and boredom. Builds core strength and a healthy posture.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, alternative seating can adapt to specific student’s needs to improve their learning process.
Alternative seating helps to build a positive and inclusive classroom. As students feel like their opinions are valued, they will develop a positive attitude towards learning and their classmates. Giving students choices and ownership develops their self-confidence and responsibilities, which are two essential skills to success. Alternative seating can help the classroom become more inviting, making kids eager to come to school. When we think about alternative seating, one of the first few words that come to our mind is always “fun”!
ErgoErgo is an extraordinary seating concept combining the benefits of active sitting with a bold contemporary design. It is comfortable, durable, and perfect for classrooms, libraries or just relaxing. It’s ergonomic and versatile enough to be used at your desk.
After sitting on ErgoErgo, ordinary chairs seem…well, just ordinary.
- Alternative Seating Options for The Classroom
A few alternative seating options you should know about and consider for the next school year:
- Wiggle Stool have rounded or rocking bases which will help students to be active while sitting. This is an excellent choice for students that need extra movements throughout the day.
- Balance Balls are large, inflatable balls that help with posture and balance.
- Cushions/Floor Seating are popular because of their prices and versatility. These types of seating allow more space for movement and are easy to move around.
- Couches, Futon and Sofas make a great seating option in the classroom, not only because of their relaxing nature, but also because of the aesthetic value they bring to the classroom.
- Rocking Chairs and Swing Seats provide a unique experience as they add the rocking/swinging motion, which gives off a familiar, calming effect to help children ease off and concentrate.
- Folding Seats has many benefits. Not only do they take up little space so teachers can organize more activities without having to move furniture around, but they also have a variety of colours and price range to choose from!
- Stools allow students to adopt different, and healthier postures than conventional seating options.
- BouncyBand products offer options to transform traditional chairs and desks, so they become more adaptable to students’ needs!
The Active Floor Seat creates a comfortable learning environment. The ball top provides movement, enhancing focus for active children. You can use it for exercise, rehabilitation, or as a balance trainer.
Cozy Woodland Carry Me Cushions give students a comfortable place to sit during story time playtime or any floor activity. The foam cushions feature a durable wipe-clean cover and carrying handle.
Some Floor Seating options for the classroom!
Bouncyband Calming & Fun Sensory Rocker provides active movement, deep pressure, and sensory stimulation to calm and aid with fidgeting and restlessness. Children can rock and expel excess energy while being soothed and comforted with deep pressure.
Rocking is an excellent way to receive vestibular stimulation, strengthen muscles and develop a sense of balance.
Raylax Chair is great for story time, circle time or classroom discussion. Chairs can be used in numerous positions and by all ages.
Folding Seats have reclining backrest adjusts to 10 positions for comfortable floor seating.
These seats can be folded to save space!
Bouncyband for Desks enable kids to have an outlet for excess energy while working, alleviating anxiety, hyperactivity, and boredom, and increasing focus and performance. The patented design keeps the bands elevated for continuous silent use.
Bouncyband Wiggle Feet Sensory Foot Rest quietly enables movement while working to foster the ability to stay on task and be more productive. One side feature flexible nub, while the other offers small bumps to facilitate just the right amount of tactile stimulation. Excellent for bilateral coordination, improving balance and stabilization.
BouncyBands transform the traditional desks & chairs to adapt to students’ needs!
- Setting Up Alternative Seating in the Classroom
Setting up alternative seating in the classroom is a rewarding process, knowing that your actions contribute to a more positive, and innovative learning environment! It all starts with you researching different types of alternative seating options (like reading this blog!) and consider the most suitable ones for your objectives and budget. Define your goal when implementing alternative seating. Do you plan to improve focus, or make your classrooms more interactive?
Next, look at your classroom layout and available space. Not all classrooms have ample space or are designed to have seats arrangements. When creating a seating plan, make sure it is optimized with your classroom’s layout, and be aware of any health regulation that is implemented in your school. Kids should have enough space to move around comfortably, and to carry on with their learning activities. Involve your students in the process too! Let them know about the benefit of alternative seating and ask for their opinions about what they love to have in the classrooms.
Establish rules, and expectations when using alternative seating options with children. Discussing topics like taking care of the furniture and respecting others’ choices will help the young ones to be more responsible and caring for the products. Carefully assess the impact of alternative seating options as you implement them in the classrooms. Do the students enjoy them? Do their academic performances improve? Collect feedback from the kids!
Finally, remember to maintain a flexible mindset when applying alternative seating options in the classroom. Be open to altering your teaching methods and activities to include these fun, comfortable seats in the teaching process. At the end of the school year, organize your findings, and share with your colleagues to promote the benefits of alternative seating!