15 Flexible Seating Ideas

Flexible seating has become all the rage in elementary school classrooms. Rather than confining kids to traditional tables and chairs, teachers are giving students lots of different seating options so that children can take control of their learning and find a classroom work space that feels best to them.

Get inspired by this flexible seating roundup of our favorite flexible seating ideas and then hop over and snag our free editable teacher planner too!

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Flexible Seating for Success

Now, before we jump in, you may be wondering about flexible seating, “How in the world do you keep kids focused when they’re allowed to wander around the room?”

The answer? Setting expectations and providing lots of practice.

With privilege comes responsibility so students must find a spot that helps them stay productive and focused. If they don’t, they can be moved and (gasp!) assigned a work spot.

And just like anything new, modeling what good choices look like and giving children plenty of opportunities to practice during those first few days of flexible seating sets the class up for success.

Kids will love trying out all of their options those first few days so that they can find the few that work best for them.

Now let’s checkout some inspiring flexible seating ideas…

This first grade classroom includes balance disks like this for kids who want to sit on the floor and yoga balls like these for children who prefer a little height. // Miss Snable’s First Grade

I love Heidi Songs’ low cost version of the yoga balls: a bouncy ball in a crate. Genius! // Heidi Songs

And one teacher lets her kids move their seating options around the room. // Teaching with a Mountain View

In another classroom, kids can use lap desks like these ones from Amazon when they’re sitting on the floor. // Kindergarten is Grrreat

Want reusable sit spots instead of buying an expensive rug?! Three words: velcro sit spots! // Keeping up with Mrs. Harris

Kids can lounge in fold-able beach chairs… // Mrs. Reller’s Classroom*

Or adirondack chairs. // Sparking in Second Grade

They can even get comfy in laundry baskets! // Heidi Songs*

Let kids lay on a rug or cozy up in an oversized chair. // Snarky Gingersnap*

Set up a cafe table with stools. // Teach Create Motivate

If you’re up for a DIY project, you can even turn some recycled tires into super cool furniture. // The Real Housewives of Riverton

Or make some colorful benches. // The Teeny Tiny Teacher

You can use risers like these ones to make standing desks. // Teel’s Treats

Set up a reading fort with PVC piping. // Little Miss Kimberly Ann

Or make a no sew teepee! // EHow

There are so many possibilities!

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  1. Teresa Huff

    I really liked the variety of seating that you showed for the alternative seating! Thank You for showing these types of seats with the students.

    • Kimberleigh

      Welcome, Teresa! I am so glad that you found the information useful. Happy planning!

  2. Tracey Gonzalez

    I love flexible seating! I am wondering how people deal with lice and keeping pillows, cushions etc clean. Thanks!

    • Kimberleigh

      Hi Tracey,

      Great question. While different schools have different policies, it is usually up to the teacher and teacher aides to keep an eye on the items.

  3. Abigail

    I really like the flexible seating. Great job.

    • Ashley

      Thank you so much, Abigail!
      Have a lovely week!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  4. Joan Fournier

    Love the photos and ideas. Do you have a list of material sources or know someone who does?

    • Ashley

      Hi Joan,
      Thanks for reaching out.
      There are several links in the text of the post. Under each set of pictures, you’ll see a short description of the pictures and there’s a link in almost every description. Look for the text that’s blue and click there.
      If you need more specific help, you can email me at hello@playdoughtoplato.com
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador


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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!