Alternative Seating Options

alternative seating options

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 Chair

cube chair

The 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.

Peanut Ball

peanut ball

The peanut ball offers different size options to accommodate each child’s needs. With feet planted in straddle sit position, the peanut ball allows for gentle weight shifting, promoting abdominal and oblique activation.

peanut ball

The peanut ball can also be used with both feet in front of ball to promote greater postural control and trunk strength.

Balance Ball Chair

seated ball chair

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!

Wobble Cushion

seating optionsThe wobble cushion can be used directly on the floor or the child’s chair. The cushion promotes core stability, trunk engagement, balance and postural awareness.seating optionsPlaced on the child’s chair, we can promote better sitting posture and provide helpful sensory input.
seating optionsThe 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.

Wedge Cushion 

seating optionsThe 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.

T-Stoolseating optionsThe T-Stool offers a great challenge without lateral or back support. Promoting trunk activation and postural awareness, it can be used during table top or vertical surface work. 

Wobble StoolThe Wobble Stool is a dynamic sitting option, promoting trunk strength & stability. The Wobble Stool allows for weight shifting and postural awareness.

Vertical Surface

seating optionsTake a break from sitting activities and encourage working at vertical surfaces. This can be at an easel, whiteboard, or chalkboard. Working at a vertical surface promotes upper body stability, encourages bilateral coordination, hand eye coordination, and trunk activation.

ball chair vertical work Add in therapy ball with vertical surface activity for added postural engagement. It is also a great sensory break for children!

Prone Work

seating optionsWorking in prone, or on the child’s belly is another great alternative addressing upper body weight bearing, shoulder strength & stability, back extensor mobility, head & neck extension.seating optionsThe addition of the foam incline wedge promotes greater strength & stability challenge in prone position!

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