As a Pediatric Physical Therapist, I am always looking for new ways to encourage carry over of the work during our individual PT sessions. Especially in regards to postural awareness, trunk strength, & promoting lower body weight bearing to facilitate upper body activation.
Alternative seating options can provide opportunities for movement while promoting postural control, balance, coordination, strength & endurance. When a child is actively engaging their proximal muscle groups they have more control in their distal muscle groups, essential for many classroom activities.
These ideas do not just apply to school settings, but to the home setting as well. When your child is doing homework, creating beautiful artwork, building impressive structures with legos, really any activity at home can be bolstered by the incorporation of one of these alternative seating options!
Cube ChairThe cube chair is a great option for smaller children. It offers three different height options as the child grows. We want to promote weight bearing through feet with hips, knees & ankles at around 90 degree angle for optimal postural activation and trunk control.
You can place a dyna disc or balance pad under child’s feet for more sensory stimulation as well!
The peanut ball is one of my favorite options, with different sizes to accommodate each child’s needs. With feet planted, the peanut ball gently rocks side to side as child weight shifts, while promoting slight pelvic tilt and abdominal and oblique activation.
The balance ball chair promotes postural control, while allowing the child opportunities for movement and sensory input. It is an incredible tool in the classroom or home setting!
The wobble cushion can be used directly on the floor or the child’s chair. Alternatively called a balance disc, the cushion promotes core stability, strengthens muscle tone, improves balance and body posture.
The wobble cushion can also be used behind the child’s back to prevent slouching, as it provides gentle tactile input to encourage more upright posture.
The wedge cushion is a wonderful tool to address sitting posture. The wedge allows for slight pelvic tilt, encouraging engagement of trunk musculature. It comes in two sizes. The larger size is ideal for the floor, while the smaller size fits easily on the child’s chair.
The T-Stool offers a great challenge without lateral or back support. Promoting trunk activation and postural awareness, this can be used during table top or vertical surface work. Adjust the height to ensure feet weight bearing through floor for optimal alignment.
The Wobble Stool is a dynamic sitting option, promoting trunk strength & stability. The Wobble Stool gently rolls with your child’s natural movements, so he or she stays supported and comfortable while they wiggle around on their stool.
Take a break from sitting activities and encourage working at vertical surfaces. This can be at an easel, whiteboard, chalkboard, the refrigerator, any vertical surface really! Working at a vertical surface promotes shoulder strength & stability, encourages bilateral coordination, crossing midline, hand eye coordination, and trunk activation. It is also a great sensory break for children!
The addition of the foam incline wedge promotes greater strength & stability challenge in prone position!
What are some alternative seating options that work well for you? Feel free to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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