Flexible seating in the classroom is a huge trend in education this year! There are a ton of ideas for flexible seating options you can do in your classroom to try it out a little bit or go full force so I compiled a list for you to see a lot of the different options! I provided the links for you to see them directly on Amazon if you want to check them out – some links are affiliate links which means I get commission if you buy from the links, it’s no extra cost for you but I just wanted to let you know! I love that so many classrooms are embracing flexible seating and there are just so many great ideas out there for how you can try it yourself!
Hokki Stools definitely seem to be the most popular flexible seating option that I’ve seen. They’re one of the priciest things on this list but they’re so amazing. They come in a lot of fun colors and allow students to move all around and be comfortable. They’re great for table spots as well as for at your small groups table so kids can get all their wiggles out without being distracting to others. I recommend this 15″ one for K-2 students.
Gaiam Kids Stay-n-Play Balance Balls are also wonderful stability balls for student to sit on while they work! I love that these have little legs on them so they don’t roll away when not in use. I also love that they come in fun colors and I love the 45 cm. size ball for the classroom.
You can also just use regular balance balls or big bouncy balls! In order for them to not roll away or to store them on top of tables at the end of the day, buy a pack of colorful flying discs, flip them upside down, and set the ball inside of them. You could also buy those green styrofoam circles with a hole in the middle from dollar stores or craft stores but the sound of styrofoam makes me twitch so I prefer flying discs! You could also cut a pool noodle to the correct size, twist it into a circle, and use a cute color strong tape to tape the ends together to set the ball in. There are a lot of possible solutions. 🙂
Gaiam also makes balance ball chairs like this one for kids to sit on. I really want an adult sized one to help with my posture while sitting at the computer but I haven’t ordered one yet. I’ll let you guys know if I like it if I do!
Wobble cushions are also an excellent option, especially if you keep your normal chairs, because kids can wobble all around in their seat for a ton of sensory input with little distraction. You can have these in a seat or have them sit on them on the floor. One way I really love is to lower a student table by taking the legs off to make it a super low table kids can sit and work at. You can cut slits in tennis balls and put them on the table legs so they don’t harm your floor with the legs off.
Speaking of wobbling, I love wobble chairs! Kids really seem to love these and they come in really cute colors that let kids get the movement they need. I like the 14″ height.
Scoop rockers are also a fun choice to sit on the floor for students to sit in while they read or work! Just have your students grab a clipboard and their pencil and they can work sitting pretty much anywhere.
Carpet circles are another option for sitting on the floor! You can also get carpet squares. You can also buy fluffy or memory foam bath mats! Carpet circles like this and bath mats are nice because kids can grab them and sit wherever they want… as well as you can have them move if they’re being disruptive or by someone that’s distracting them. It’s also nice that they establish a personal space for students. Talking about personal space is important to do when letting students choose their own seating. Check out the “Personal Space” section in my list of Read Aloud Books Sorted by Behavior list!
You can also have students sit or lay on yoga mats! If you cut them in half, you have a lot more seating options and a smaller size so more kids can have them and fit on the floor. I recommend extra thick ones like these if you have hard floors. The nice thing about yoga mats is that they’re super easy to store. Just get a tall plastic laundry hamper to roll them up and put them in when not in use.
Saucer chairs are so cozy for classroom libraries or reading corners. They’re soft and comfy and great to snuggle up in with a book. Plus I love this color and the feel of it.
Bungee chairs are great as well! They provide a lot of movement and kids typically love to sit in them.
Crate seats are also a super popular choice. Just get a set of cute crates, flip them upside down, and make cushions to put on top of the bottoms of them for kids to sit on. There are so many tutorials for how to make them if you search DIY Crate Seats. If you don’t have the time to make them (what teacher does?!), or just aren’t feeling particularly crafty, you could probably buy some cushions to put on top. There are a ton of chair cushions on Amazon in all different colors, patterns, sizes… I am sure one of them is bound to fit! Just measure your crates before you order.
For example, this cute polka dot cushion looks like it’d be a good size. I haven’t tried them but they look like they could be a good option? I would just buy one or two and if they aren’t the right size, they become another option for kids to sit on when selecting floor seats. These would be perfect for that as well! If you do try them, please let me know how they fit!
Another fun idea is a play tent! If you have the room for one in your classroom, there are a ton of fun ones on Amazon to choose from in all different shapes, sizes, and themes! You could probably find one to match pretty much any classroom theme. I’d make sure it’s a nice and open one, though, so you can still see in to monitor behavior when needed.
You can also do a teepee tent! I love this teal and gray chevron one because… well, I just like those colors, but you can get any colors or styles that match your decor, of course! 🙂
If you have the room for it, an inflatable kiddie pool is awesome for a reading area! Put a few comfy pillows and maybe even a throw blanket in it and kids will love to sit in it to read.
Speaking of inflatable, it may seem weird but floating pool toys like this inflatable donut inner tube can also be seating options! There are so many cheap and cute pool inner tubes out there for kids to sit in while they work!
Want to be the coolest teacher ever? Get a giant inflatable pizza slice they can sit on! It’s pretty massive though – it even has giant in the title! I don’t know if I’m brave enough to try this one (I guess I’m not the coolest!) but I thought it was a fun option to share to show that there are soo many different inflatables.
These are also some cool inflatable chairs that look comfy! I’ve never tried these ones and it looks like you can’t choose the color but I thought they looked like a fun option.
Did you know you can even get an inflatable couch for your classroom? I actually had an inflatable loveseat when I was little and my friends and I loved sitting on it! With inflatables, you need to teach that you never jump on it and treat it kindly. We used to run and jump on ours until it flipped over for fun – it never popped but my friends and I did that so much that it started leaking air. It actually held up for a long time after that but my dad had to re-inflate it periodically. Oops! 🙂
If your school has it in their budget, storage couches or benches like this Sit and Store Reading Center couch are awesome for your reading area! There is even a canopy you can buy to add on to it to make a super cute little reading area. There are a lot of storage couch options like this out there that double as book storage!
This storage bench is another seating option that includes storage.
I actually made my own that is a lot like this! I bought a 4 cube bookshelf and laid it on its side then put a long patio cushion on top of it. I put a bucket of books in each of the 4 cubes and you can sit on the top of it to read. It turned out really cute plus I love that I can switch out the cushion for a different color or newer one whenever I want to!
How cute is this caterpillar bench for an elementary classroom?! I just had to share it! There are a ton of other things you could get to match this for your classroom if that was your theme.
Camping chairs are also an easy option and they fold up! I also love that they typically have a cup holder in one of the arms for students to put writing materials in if they need to. There are so many cute ones out there as well as your basic kids camping chairs. They’re a popular choice!
This portable recliner seat is also a nice option for sitting on the floor. You might actually want to use it for if you sit on the carpet or floor with your students to give your bottom a little padding!
A plush bedrest is an easy thing to add to any reading area or around the classroom to lay against while working. They’re really comfy and I use them myself sometimes!
Foam kneeling pads are also nice for if you lower your tables! Kids can kneel while they work but their knees may hurt if you don’t give them some sort of pad. Sometimes you can find pads in camping sections too that would work. You can also use patio chair cushions if you already have those for flexible seating anyway.
So you lowered some desks… what about raising some desks to make standing desks?? Adjust a table or desk to its maximum height and then use bed risers that fit to raise it up. I like that you can stack these bed risers for additional height if you need it to get them just right. Definitely make sure you measure how high you need your tables and confirm that the bed risers will fit the legs of what you’re trying to raise and be sturdy.
I also love these colorful stack stools that come in a set of 5 for at small group tables or other tables.
Okay so I LOVE bean bags! There are so many super comfy ones from Big Joe like this Big Joe Lumin Chair. One thing about bean bags is you do have to eventually refill them if they flatten. One of my friends told me she stuffs hers with plastic grocery bags which, let’s face it, you have a million of stuffed inside of another grocery bag somewhere in your house… and if you don’t, your students’ parents do. 🙂 I can’t vouch whether or not the plastic bags work well but they do sell refill bags of beans on Amazon as well!
This Big Joe Roma Chair is another cool style! They come in different colors but I thought this zebra print one was fun, especially if you have a lot of neon colors in your room or a zoo/safari classroom theme.
Regular bean bag chairs like this pink polka dot bean bag chair also work great! I also really like the lime and gray polka dot ones. Kids just love bean bag chairs so, really, if you find a cute one, grab it!
How fun is this bean bag? I feel like kids are obsessed with all these fun smiley faces we use on social media so why wouldn’t they want to sit on them! ….and, yes, there is a poo one! I love the heart eyes, laughing until crying, and blowing kisses ones. 🙂
There are bean bag chairs in so many themes. For example, if you have a sports themed classroom, there are footballs and soccer balls and basketballs.. so fun!
Big Joe also makes a really cool flip lounger that you can lay on or fold the pad under to make into a chair. Big Joe has so many options – definitely check them all out! There are a lot of different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns!
This red bean bag chair (also comes in other colors) is also really cute and a comfy shape. I love that they have little storage pockets on the side.
There really just are so many ways to give your students a choice in where they sit in the classroom to be comfortable and able to focus.
Other things you need for flexible seating in your classroom are ways for students to do their work without being at a desk or table.
Have a class set of colorful clipboards kids can grab and go with to use wherever in the classroom. I like having different colors (not just the wood ones) so kids can quickly and easily identify their clipboard. If you have 25-30 brown wood clipboards, there’s going to be a lot of time wasted looking for the right clipboard.
Lap trays are also awesome! I love them because they are super portable and have storage in the sides to put writing utensils, papers, etc. I actually even bought a pink one for myself that I use at home sometimes!
I haven’t personally used this lap desk but I love that it has storage inside and says it folds flat which I think would make it easier to store. Again, though, I haven’t used this particular one!
Other things you can consider to provide wiggly students some relief are Bouncy Bands! I wish these had been around when I was in school! I love that they’re really not that noticeable and work with the chairs I already have but provide support to kiddos that need to bounce and move around. You can also get stationary bicycle pedals for them to pedal under their desk!
Wow, that was a long list! I hope this gave you a lot of fun ideas to incorporate new types of seating in your classroom this year! Do you use any of these flexible seating options in your classroom? How do you like them? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
As you may have guessed by the name of this site, I LOVE making lists. Check out some of my other fun lists:
Best Books by Behavior (great for teaching specific behaviors like tattling, sharing, etc.!)
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