Children need to move.
Active Classrooms, The Latest Trend
Heath.gov recommends that children move 60 minutes per day. Not only does this recommendation hope to address childhood obesity by increasing caloric output, but there are also implications for learning. Children who move 60 minutes per day report better sleep, stable moods, more time on task and higher grades.
Classroom teachers have been looking to flexible seating, specifically active seating, to provide additional movement for students. However, some teachers report frustrations when the wobble stool turns into a hazard instead of Instagram perfection.
Here is the truth. Bodies that are not grounded (securely in tune with the Earth and the gravitational force) won’t magically become grounded when sitting on a wobble stool. The good news is, we have created a Move Mindfully® Grounding Routine to ground bodies before using active seating tools. More movement and breath work can be found in our Move Mindfully® Card Deck.
With modeling and practice, students can go through the routine as many times as needed, checking in and assessing if they are ready. Try printing of the routine and posting near flex seating options. If you see children falling, or not using the tools correctly, simply let them know, “It looks like your body is not grounded yet. Try the routine again.”
Once the bodies are grounded, then it’s time to explore the active seating options! Our friends at Moving Minds have many innovative active seating products. Here are our Top 5 recommendations and tips for integrating mindful movement. We suggest having students explore a few of these positions before there is an expectation for stillness and listening during instruction.
The unique design combines a seat with a desktop in one seamless shape so students can use it anywhere!
This active this seat changes all of that by allowing students to rock back and forth or rotate 90° in either direction to tilt side to side. Balancing the seat on the domed portion of its bottom edge lets students work their core muscles in new ways without disrupting class.
Shyft provides slight instability and activity for all ages while sitting or standing!
The chair’s constant “wobble” engages muscles and provides an opportunity to release excess energy, enhancing focus and productivity.
A bumpy, grippy bottom side prevents it from slipping in any situation, and a subtle texture on top provides a plush, sensory experience in chairs or on the floor.
Don’t have the budget to build a flexible seating active classroom? Simply head to your local dollar store and pick up a Step Stool. This tool is great for sitting slightly elevated off of the carpet and also provides extra input during balancing positions, like Tree or Eagle.
Do you use flexible seating? What has worked for you? Leave a comment!