Originally written for and published by Wolf+Friends
Fact: When your body is moving, your brain is more engaged in learning. However, our children are often required to spend much of their day trying to sit still in their classrooms, which isn't allowing them to develop their sensory systems. Kids need ample time to run, jump, climb, crash, and get dirty! Did you know that active play recommendations for toddlers & preschoolers are 5-8 hours/day? And that school-age children need at least 4-5 hours/day of movement experiences? Knowing those guidelines, consider how much of your child’s school day is spent sitting at their desk…at the dinner table…in the car between activities…watching TV. Chances are probable that your child isn’t getting the recommended active play experiences that their sensory and motor systems need to develop. It’s no wonder that kids are wiggly and fidgety when we ask them to sit and learn!
So how do you accomplish movement when the expectation is to stay seated? The answer is in “active seating” options that allow for subtle movements and adjustments while sitting. They’re not going to replace active play experiences, but these sensory seats promote body engagement and increased focusing ability by giving your child the sensory input he/she needs! Offer your child a ball chair at the dinner table, try a HowdaHug seat for TV time, or challenge their core strength with a T-stool or wobble chair at the kids-craft table. Think about textures, movement, and vibration when you’re considering a sensory seat and how it can fit into your home.
The next time you’re tempted to remind your child to “sit still,” get them up and moving OR add a little wiggle, bounce, or wobble to your child’s seat to offer that sensory input their bodies need to learn and engage!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Safco Runtz™ ball chairs puts the benefits of an exercise ball into a comfortably stable chair just for kids! The whimsical gumdrop shape of each chair hides an anti-burst exercise ball that puts a little bounce into seated play while improving balance and posture along the way. The mesh covering provides tactile stimulation for those with sensory needs and comes in comes in three fun colors: Licorice, Bubble Gum and Sour Apple.
ErgoErgo is a revolutionary seating concept combining the benefits of active sitting with a bold contemporary design. The ErgoErgo allows the body to rock gently in any direction to build strength and flexibility.
Kids can bounce, wiggle, and jiggle to their heart's content on the playful Jellyfish Chair. Perfect for kids who have trouble sitting still or crave a little movement while they work at a desk. (note - this link is for an adult-sized/teen-sized chair)
The Kids Kore Wobble Chair is a simple seat design to allow movement when children are required to sit. The Kids Kore Wobble Chair will allow rocking from side to side, front to back, or anywhere in between.