Plenty of things need to be considered when making a traditional classroom an impactful learning environment. From implementing the most popular school flooring to supplying the classroom with the different types of popular kids’ tables and chairs, all specially designed to improve students’ attention levels and help them stay mentally active.
As kids are generally known to be fidgety, many classrooms have started to include specially designed sensory seat cushions to help them stay alert, focused, and flexible during classes. If you have never heard about sensory seats, you probably have some questions. Let’s start off by explaining what they are and how they work.
What Is a Wobble Cushion or Sensory Seat?
Children that can’t sit still are usually called sensory seekers as they need constant movement to stay alert and focused. Sensory cushions are air inflatable seats, specially designed to help these children fidget less in the classroom. Made from flexible PVC-free and latex-free material, these seats measure about 35 cm in width regardless of their shape. They are usually inexpensive and take up very little space. When seated, they create instability (a wobble), which not only improves body posture and core strength but also gives children that extra movement they crave.
Different Types of Sensory Wiggle Seats
There is a wide variety of different types of alternate wiggle seats for kids available on the market today. Recommended by occupational therapists, they have become an essential piece of equipment in school classrooms aimed at kids with special education needs and poor attention span.
Let’s go through the main characteristics of some of the most frequently used wiggle seat cushions in classroom settings and elaborate further on the benefits associated with them.
The Spiky Wiggle Seat
This sensory seat cushion is spiky on one side and bumpy on the other, allowing kids to choose which sensory input they like more. They are mostly suitable for kids with ADHD or autism helping them to improve their focus and concentration. Adults can also benefit from its usage. With the help of this highly functional sensory seat cushion, you can easily turn any office seat into a sensory chair seat that provides flexibility, core strength, and balance, helping create an optimal working environment.
Large Tactile Cushion
These inflatable tactile cushions provide children with a discreet outlet for movement without disrupting, which makes them great classroom seating. They have a versatile function, offering the benefits of a (gym) ball, wobble board, and sitting cushion in one. Kids who sit slumped in their chairs, appear sluggish and without energy can also benefit immensely as these seats help to stimulate their vestibular system which has to do with their alertness level.
Ballance balls were originally discovered in the 1960s for therapy purposes. Nowadays they have become widely recommended by therapists for children who have trouble focusing in school, helping them reach their full potential in the classroom. When the child sits on a ball chair they need to constantly move in order to maintain the needed balance which additionally improves their concentration and strengthens their core muscles.
These balls come in many different sizes and provide a great amount of proprioceptive input especially for those with sensory processing disorders, such as ADHD. According to teacher and student reports, therapy balls are beginning to substitute the standard sitting chairs as they help to improve student’s focus and performance in the classroom.
The wedge seat is a specially designed seat cushion that helps your child stays calm and focused while sitting at school or at home. It typically has one smooth side and the other textured (bumpy) side. These wiggle seats are air-filled, encouraging proper posture and body development in kids.
They are super comfortable, fun and are proven to be especially beneficial for kids who like to shift around or rock in their seats. The special design enables the child to reduce their need to fidget which translates to greater focus and engagement in the classroom.
Desk Kick Band
It’s no news, that many kids generally struggle to endure the daily curriculum in a classroom, as they have a constant need to wiggle around and pay attention. We can’t blame kids for this, as adults also have a hard time sitting still for an hour at a time much less most of the day.
For this matter, the desk kick bands have proven to be another very effective tool providing the child with enough sensory stimulation.
These bands are super beneficial, fun, and very easy to apply. You basically place them around the front legs of a chair as a footrest which allows the students to kick the band and release some of their energy in a discrete way. As recommended by many therapists, this is a simple product but it has the potential for big impacts.