the Tenacious Teacher · May 22, 2016

Flexible Seating Finds at Ikea

Well folks. I am jumping in! Simply looking at my students this past year and how they work, I've noticed that I think it's time I try a different layout in hopes to create an even more supportive classroom environment. So after reading a lot about the idea of flexible and alternative seating options and its benefits, I'm going for it!

I'm staying in the same room as I've been the last 4 years, and the layout hasn't changed much so I'll need to get creative to make it work and function, but I'm up for the challenge. I already did a Donor's Choose project and got a few wobble stools and some on the go floor chairs. Now I'm asking around, hopping around to garage sales, and limiting myself to no more than 2 Ikea visits!

Here's my plan as of now for working spaces:

  • I'm getting rid of most of my desks. I will keep some. Some I will raise up a little higher so they can be standing desks.
  • I'm getting 3 tables. At least 1 will be lowered to the floor for a sitting table. My goal is to have a "hard" space available for each student (at a table or a desk) at any given work time, although they might not all be used as some may choose to work on the floor with lap desks.
  • I'm keeping some of my normal chairs, and hope to get some exercise balls. I also have some wobble stools and normal stools (which you will see below)

Here's what I got in my first visit to Ikea. I found that scouring through Pinterest and finding others who have made the change had had a lot of luck at Ikea and I found it very help to read those posts, so I'm doing the same. Plus I'm super jealous of all of you who have a 5 Below near you... the closest one to me is like 300 miles away. So Ikea it is! I took a screen shot of each of these products so you can see the name and price of when I bought it. Prices may change though remember, especially if it is in a yellow box.

I bought 2 of these lounge like chairs and 6 of the stools. I debated about the lounge chairs because they were a bit spendy. But I sat in them and they were super comfy! Another reason I got both of these types of seating is because they stack to make it easier to store when they are not in use.

I also got these outdoor seat cushions. They can go on the seats or the stools, or on the floor. They are just thick enough to provide some extra cushion, but slim enough to store easily. They have ties so I'll probably hang them on our moveable curtain.. we'll see!

Since students won't have their own desks, we'll have to store materials differently. I picked up lots of those cardboard magazine holders. I'll find a use somehow. I also bought 3 of hanging trash cans. I saw a pin at Creativity to the Core on how she used them to store their folders... brilliant! Another awesome find was this green thing. What is it you ask? Well it is a 3-in-1!

It's a cubbyhole! And a shelf! And has hooks! And it was $4.99! So I bought two. It is supposed to be attached using screws (that are not included) but the swinging command hooks fit in the holes so I'm going to try that first before I try to ask my custodian to screw things into the wall. I'm picturing putting things like post-its in the cubby area, or whisper phones, or who know what else I'll discover that can fit!
Last of my finds, and some of my favorites, are these lap desks. Actually, the top part of the picture is a tablet stand. But I tested it out and it works great as a little lap desk. You can stack them (bonus for storage) and you can use them in 2 different directions. I used this also while standing and it was great. I also got 1 bean bag lap desk. These were a bit spendy again. But the bottom snaps off for easier cleaning.

I feel it was a very successful first trip. I'm getting pretty set in terms of actual seating options. I'm on the hunt for some cheap yoga mats or rugs, and some exercise balls and then it's time to rearrange!
Any tips for making flexible seating successful? I'd love to hear them!

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