Issue 54: Ways to Survive ASD Parenting and Stay Thankful
Issue 58: Winning Ways to Share the Love with All of Your Children
Issue 81: When Special Education Fails to Be Special
While I have seen many variations of furniture in ESE classrooms, when it comes to tables and chairs, we just have the basics. Why? Because unlike a school classroom where the kids are learning for up to six hours a day, we only have them for about an hour and a half. Our kids' ages also range from 4 to 11 and so purchasing those smaller, toddler-sized tables and chairs is not relevant for us. We simply have the sturdy plastic white tables that can be arranged any way we desire and can even be folded down easily and put away when we need more floor space for an activity, and some black folding chairs. The chairs are sturdy, but their seats and backs do have some give to them, which is great for the "bouncers" in our room. I like to arrange the tables so that kids and volunteers can sit on either side. Sometimes we add a third table and make a "U" where our teachers can stand in the middle and be seen by everyone during the lesson.
I did find these great sensory mats at Oriental Trading that we purchased for kids to place on the chairs to sit on if they need the extra sensory input to stay still. There are other fidget accessories to keep kids still during our lesson that we have in our sensory center and I will talk about those in the sensory post later.
One other way to modify a few of our chairs is with exercise resistance bands. We tie these around the legs of a chair and the kids can put their feet on the band and bounce their legs up and down. Great for the wiggle worms.
Over in Noah's Nook, we have several seating options. Here's where I have to be honest and admit that I have no idea where to purchase these. They were donated to our room in the beginning. The square foot stool type seat is hard and has no give, very solid and secure. The curvy one has a slight bounce to it yet is contoured to fit nicely to any child's bottom.
The bookshelf I purchased from a garage sale, but Amazon carries it as well. I like it because it arranges the books so that multiple can be seen at once. The books sit in these little colorful hammocks and they make it easy for little hands to retrieve and return the books.
In the Jesus Calms the Storm center are my faux fur saucer chairs. I love these! And we have one little girl in particular who goes to these every time she enters our room. She sits in them for the movie, the lesson, and during snack time. She pets the fur on them and rolls the hairs of the chair in between her thumb and forefinger and you can tell that, for her, it's just bliss!
This brings me to my favorite seating in our room...the bungee chairs. Just the name is fun! Who doesn't like the bungee and bouncing? I have kids who sit in these facing forward and they just bounce up and down with their bottom during the lesson. Then I have a few who sit facing the back of the chair, putting their feet through two of the larger holes, and they use their feet to bounce up and down like crazy! It's as fun to watch as it is to sit in these chairs.
Last but not least in the way of furniture is my supplies cabinet...if you lack a supplies closet in your room that is. I try to be as prepared for a lesson beforehand as possible, but there are times when I discover a missing craft supply or need extra paper or a stapler that works. I keep all of these things and so much more in my supply closet. Inside you will find:
There you have it! Everything you need and a few things you may want to furnish your ESE ministry room with!
I am a Christian. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am an author. In that order.