15 Flexible Seating Options

Have you been thinking about trying flexible seating this year? I have decided to go full flexible seating with my second grade this year and have done a lot of reading and research. Thought I'd share what I am doing in the classroom and some ideas that I found that other teachers are doing.  Also, if you want my free Flexible Seating Ebook, click here to grab it (or click the image at the end of the post)!
1. Camp Chairs
Think about what size camp chairs you would do best with. I tried both "kids" size and adult size and many of my second graders are too tall for kids size camp chairs which seem to be best for preschoolers-kids age 5.  I brought these from home and accented them with some inexpensive IKEA pillows.
Quik Chair folding camp chair http://amzn.to/2c3PZRz
2. Side Tables
While technically not seating the kids can sit on, the side tables from IKEA (only $9.99) are great to put around the room and use as spots kids could work, whether they are sitting on chairs or on the floor.
3. Stools
I bought 5 of these stools from IKEA last year and they were great to put at our group table.  I think they were about $6 each. They were great last year when I was not full-on flexible seating as an alternative to regular school chairs but also will be a nice option in a classroom filled with a myriad of other seating options. Also we are using them this year as nut-free seating for snack time for my buddy with allergies and a friend.
Here is an example of a similar stool from Amazon. You can also try the site offerup.com to see if anyone near you is selling stools for cheaper. 
4. Desks
I am still a firm believer that there should be some desks in every classroom as an option for students for whom its best. You never know which kiddos, especially when you get a new class at the beginning of the year, would prefer a traditional desk.
5. Traditional Chairs
I feel the same way about chairs as desks. Keep a few around as some students (and teachers) will like using them.
6. Beach Chairs
I grabbed two of these at Target in June for $5 each (on deep discount). I found the third one, clean and unused, next to my dumpster! In the offseason or if like me, you don't live in Florida, you can always find chairs like these on Amazon (here's an example) or you may try places like Overstock.com.
7. Coffee Tables
I had this old, scratched up coffee table at home. I lugged it in after I bought a new one, spray painted it, and as one of my students once wrote, Wahlah! (Voila :) )
8. Stability Ball Chairs
These are terrific! Last year I sent an email out, asking parents if they had any small ones we could borrow. Two sweet parents bought these, sent them in, and donated them to our class. These are both Gaiam Kids Stay & Play Balance Ball Chairs from Amazon, and I have no idea why they are different sizes. On the box they appeared to be the same exact items but they don't in real life. Hint: when looking for balance balls, consider the sizes of your students. Mine are second graders and these are just right for most of them, but too small for the taller kids. If you teach upper elementary you may want a larger size.
9. Wobble Stools/Hokki Stools
Wobble stools are probably the most popular and best option in my class right now for wiggly bodies. I could not afford to just go out and buy them so I was ready to do a Donor's Choose project but I found out that Scholastic has the Kore Wobble Stools in their store and you can use your book order points to grab them. I  got two this way.  The kids loved them so we did a few more book orders and I was able to get two more! You can also buy the Kore brand here from Amazon for what I hear is a little cheaper than the Hokki Stools.

10. Laundry Baskets
Seriously. I first saw this idea over on Heidisongs Instagram account.  You take a laundry basket and a pillow or two and the kids lounge or lay in them. She said a bunch of her kids did not think they were comfortable but some did so it might be worth a shot. {Update: Heidi mentioned the Sterilite brand laundry baskets did not hold up but you could try another brand} Thanks Heidi! Check out her blog here.
11. Crate Seats
This image is from Kim at Stress-Free Teaching. She says she loves them and used really thick foam for cushioning and used a staple gun to attach the fabric. Thanks Kim!

12. Yoga Mats
Many teachers yoga mats so kids have somewhere more comfortable to sit besides a hard floor or dirty rug ( sorry just being honest!). 
13. Pillows or Chair Cushions
I bought these 4 cushions from WalMart for $5 for my short table. The kiddos love sitting on them while at this table. In fact, I had to make it a rule they can only use them while sitting there. Some were trying to abscond with them to other parts of the classroom!
14. Bath Mats/Small Rugs
You may have seen other teachers using bath mats for flexible seating. They are very popular. The one pictured is from Amazon but the cheapest I have found are at IKEA (I sense a trip coming up!).
15. Inflatable Cushions
You may have these at your school in the OT/PT room or may have one for a certain student. I am considering getting a few more since I only have one. Usually  used with more traditional chairs, they are inflated and help kids get the wiggles out. 

Check out these inflatable seating ideas! Each image links to Amazon (click here to read my disclosure policy, including information on affiliate links). Amazon is easy but by no means usually the cheapest. See my tips above for where I found affordable flexible seating options and make sure you shop around at all your favorite stores and websites.

Grab the ebook here!


  1. Hi there! Thank you for the shout out!
    I thought I might mention that two of my six laundry baskets started breaking after just two weeks, so I returned all of them. So you might want to let teachers know that the Sterilite Laundry baskets are not sturdy enough for this purpose, at least! :)
    And by the way, I wouldn't have minded if you had inserted my photo, with a link to my blog. :)

    1. Awesome! Thanks so much for the feedback! That is too bad though. Maybe another brand. Thanks a ton and I added a link to your blog. Appreciate your stopping by and giving more info!!