Flexible Seating-Oh, The Possibilities!
When I finally decided to take the plunge into flexible seating, I started to brainstorm all the different seating options that were available for my classroom. I didn’t consider cost or availability-it’s amazing what you can do when you’re resourceful-so it was an open brain-dump session.
I made three categories-low to the floor, sitting height and standing/high off the floor. Once I had my list of all possible seating types, I began to take inventory of what I had, what was available on Craigslist and what I could source from friends. I sketched my thoughts in a notebook with the low to floor options in the front of the room, medium in the middle and high in the back. While I wanted our room to be an in-the-round theatre type room, I knew that our Smartboard would always be the traditional ‘front’ of the room.
My low to the floor options were as follows:
Pillows! I found 9 outdoor pillows at a garage sale which I then promptly covered in a black fabric from JoAnne Fabric’s clearance bin. These are great for kiddos sitting at the coffee table or other places around the classroom.
Arm Pillows! This was $15 at Costco, but you can also find them at Target, Walmart, etc.
Wooden Step Stool! I grabbed this from Ikea years ago but discovered it’s actually pretty comfortable to sit on while working a garage sale this summer. I have one little boy in particular that loves to work on his Chromebook while sitting on it!
Anywhere Chairs! A friend gave me two of these that her kiddos were done with-I took a seam ripper to the embroidered names and put the covers through the wash several times. SO many parents get these for their little ones-would any of your friends have one that they are done with?
Whiteboard Coffee Table! Simply take a large table from the storage room at your school, paint the top with whiteboard paint and then lower it allllll the way down on it’s legs.
Any Other Coffee Table! Find a coffee table from a local thrift store and add some flowers (thanks, mom!!). Super cute and simple!
Yoga Mats! I super lucked out and found a yoga teacher cleaning out her mat stash on Craigslist. You can look around your local yard sale site or grab them on Amazon. I find Target tends to be REALLY expensive for workout gear.
Beach Chairs! I grabbed this from my garage and the kids added a few tropical pillows to give it some support.
Small Stools! This was in the give-away pile in our lounge this summer and the kids love it. It can be pulled around the room and out into the hall.
My sitting height options were as follows:
Whiteboard Table! Again, find a large table in your store room and paint the top with whiteboard paint. This makes a fantastic group work area.
Disc Chairs! These fold out so that the kids kind of dump their bodies into a fabric disc. These are among my most popular seating choice and were pretty cheap at Walmart.
Drafting Table! I found this on Craigslist, but there was also one in a local thrift shop. I love it because it can be raise to a slant, or put down flat. I painted the top with whiteboard paint so the kids can design on it or use it as a regular desk.
Glider! This was a donation from a friend that used it in her nursery. It’s MY favorite seat in the room and I often rock in it to de-stress at the end of the day. Sometimes while watching Parks and Rec on my projector. While eating chocolate. Do what it takes, right? 😉
Arm Chairs! I searched Craigslist and local thrift shops every day for about 4 weeks to find the perfect chairs. I didn’t want to spend more than a certain amount and I wanted them in specific colors/styles. It paid off and I love the chairs I found. The kids joke that they are like the 3 Little Bears-one is very soft, one is a bit firm and one is juuuuust right.
My standing height options were as follows:
Bar Table! This table came from Craigslist in super bad shape. I painted the base table white and spray painted the chairs bright colors. I added a whiteboard top to the table and now it’s my principal’s favorite place to sit in the classroom!
Standing Desk! My standing desks are simply double and single desks from the storage room painted with whiteboard paint and set on bed risers. I found some stools from local thrift shops to add to them in case the kiddos wanted to sit for part of the day instead of stand the entire time.
Tall Stool! This was an average birch colored stool when a friend gave it to me. I unscrewed the fabric padding and spray painted it with the most beautiful shade of purple. Screwed the pad back on after it was dry and I had a delicious grape stool! I sit here each day when I do read aloud.
I hope this list inspires you as you think about your new classroom design! So many GREAT options can be found through friends (many people are LOOKING to give furniture away), thrift shops and Craigslist. Spray paint can completely change the look of an item-don’t be afraid to purchase a dinged up piece and hit it with a fresh coat of glossy paint.
Leave links in the comments to pictures of your flexible seating classrooms and have a WONDERFUL year!!
**This post contains Amazon Affiliate links to help you find the items I’m referring to at the best price. I hope it helps you design your room within your budget!