Flexible seating has only become something prevalent in the classroom within the last decade or so. This concept has flipped the idea of classrooms being stagnant and upside down! More and more, teachers are introducing alternative forms of seating in the classroom to accommodate children with different learning styles. One option to integrate this is by using stability balls in the classroom.
Where there are new ideas and new ways of doing things, there will always be new science. Alternative seating methods would be challenged, and ultimately, science prevails in the face of old thinking. Science has consistently shown that students who use stability balls within the classroom have high achievement and attention rates! Who knew?
With all that said, we have provided you with a resource guide to explore the reasons to get stability balls for the classroom, why they are beneficial, and which ones to choose from (Amazon has the BEST choices!).
Which Stability Ball Is Best
Our favorite is the Trideer Ball Chair. But while one stability ball will not break the bank, you want to consider several things when purchasing an entire class set.
Think about what type of seating options and arrangements you want for your classroom, as well as what type of flexible seating you visualize. If you like your classroom to be bright and colorful, we have options to bring energy into your classroom.
Whatever you want, we are sure this list will help you find exactly what you need to improve your class and manage all of the energy students bring with them every day!
1. Gaiam Kids Balance Ball Chair
When I see this balance ball chair, the only thing I can think of is how much I would have loved one of these in the classroom as a kid! This Gaiam stability ball comes with a base on wheels, a metal bar for holding the ball in place, a back for support, and an air pump. Coming in several different colors, any teacher can certainly find what they are looking for to match their classroom.
This ball and start measure twenty inches wide and twenty-four inches tall and is recommended for kids between five and seven. The weight limit for this item is 175 pounds. Moreover, this item has a 4.5 out of 5-stars rating on Amazon from over nine-hundred verified customers and has free Amazon Prime shipping!
When using stability balls, one of the first things that come to mind is what will keep my kid from hitting the floor? This chair’s base keeps that from happening and allows children to move around the classroom while staying in their chairs easily. One downfall is that this item’s weight limit identifies that most adults cannot use this chair. Furthermore, this chair is limited to smaller children rather than upper age students.
2. Children’s Stability Ball Chair
The Gaiam Kids Stay-N-Play ball looks like a chair that kids will love to sit in. With seven different colors or smiley face designs to choose from, teachers can be sure that whatever exercise balls they choose will match the room. Each stability ball has four built-in legs that keep the ball from rolling around, which keeps the kid from hitting the floor. This chair comes in two different sizes, 48cm and 52cm. The smaller size can accommodate kids from ages 5 to 7, while the larger can accommodate ages 8 to 11. Children will love to sit on this stability ball and be excited to come into the classroom each day to learn about it.
I noticed that there was not a weight limit listed on this item for any of the sizes. One could assume that the limit is similar to the other same brand stability ball listed above, but why assume? These stability balls are extremely reasonable in price. With that said, a teacher who does not have a grant to purchase these out of their own pockets without breaking the bank.
3. Gaiam Classic Backless Balance Ball Chair
Like the first stability ball listed, the Gaiam Classic Backless ball comes with a base that includes wheels for rolling around and two metal holders to keep the ball in place. However, this particular chair does not have a back on it and is meant for adults rather than small children. This ball has a 300-pound weight limit and is designed to accommodate 5’1″ to 5’11” in height. One good extra of these chairs is that they come with a cool desktop guide for various exercises that can be done with the stability ball.
One thing I love about this ball is that it allows for flexible seating in upper-level classrooms. Often, upper-level grade students can get looked over when it comes to these types of classroom things, gearing them more toward smaller children. Because this accommodates larger/adult people, these can be used effectively in a high school classroom.
The only downside with this type of flexible seating is that there is always the potential for someone to lean back a little too far and fall off because there is no back support on the chair. If you have been a teacher for any length of time, you know that anything is possible in a classroom.
4. HROYL Donut Exercise Ball
Unlike the previous balls, this HROYL donut ball is awesome because it takes a completely different shape. A doughnut! These come in three bright colors that will be sure to make any classroom pop. Unlike a typical balance ball that is round and has the risk of rolling away without a base, the unique shape of the HROYL Donut keeps children sitting in place while still providing the benefits that come with using stability balls. Further, this chair’s surface is non-slip and water-resistant to ensure that kids won’t slip around from place to place.
Even with its unique shape, students will still benefit from improving their core strength and posture, being active while sitting (wiggle room), and improving brain stimulation. These yoga balls allow for a different look in the classroom and are a size that can suit any age child or educator that wishes to use this for sitting.
5. Wobble Stool for Kids
The Wobble Stool is unlike any other option for flexible seating on this list. This stool allows children to wiggle from side to side or in circles, which provides the same benefits as yoga balls. With no assembly required, remove this item from the packaging and place it at the desk or table needed. There are two different sizes available for his stool, 14″-17″ and 17″ to 21″. The smaller size accommodates students under the age of 7, while the taller size benefits older children and adults.
This item is guaranteed safe and is designed to allow students to move without falling.
If you’re an educator who wants flexible seating but doesn’t want a bunch of balls bouncing around your classroom, this may be the best option for you. We love different sizes to accommodate both students and adults with the same benefits as the yoga ball.
6. Vivora Luno – Sitting Ball Chair
The Vivora Luno sitting ball has one of the best looks of any of the sitting balls on this list. These balls come in eight different cover colors. Unlike typical stability balls, these have a fabric or a leather-like cover with handles for gripping while sitting. Plus, the cover allows for the ball to hold its shape while being seated.
This ball’s sitting height is around 22″ to 24″, which is the typical height for most chairs. There are two different sizes, the standard and the Max. The max size is up to 30″ wide and 26″ tall. Lastly, the cover is machine washable, which is always a great perk.
The washable cover is the first thing that sticks out to me as being a definite perk, as well as the ball holding its size and shape when children are seated on it. This ball can easily be used with any stability disc to ensure students can balance in class without accidentally rolling away.
7. Safco Products Zenergy Ball Chair, Crimson Mesh
This balance ball is arguably one of the best options on this list. These are covered with a mesh covering and has solid metal feet attached to a base. The Safco Zenergy ball looks more like a stool than it does a ball. These are perfect for flexible seating and houses the ball underneath the mesh outside. This chair is the perfect height for a desk and can accommodate students and adults up to 250 pounds.
Lastly, this item can be used without the legs if you are needed something shorter to fit underneath a small table or desk.
These are great because it is a pleasant surprise when seated. Still having the benefits of strengthening your core and improving balance, students can still wiggle and exert energy in a healthy and fun way. There aren’t any downsides to this product that pop out. There can be moved around and still provide the option of flexible seating.
8. Exercise Balance Stability Disc
While this isn’t a ball for flexible seating, this is more for flexible standing. This balance disk comes in five different colors and measures thirteen inches in diameter. The Black Mountain disc has a spiked surface to endure maximum grip, no slipping or sliding off. What’s even better is that the company offers a lifetime warranty for their product, which means you do not have to worry about losing money on a faulty product.
These stability balls are inexpensive, which means a school can get many children without breaking the bank.
This is a good option for students who have issues with being in a seat of any kind but could use all of the same benefits from a balance ball. Students can still exert energy by wiggling while standing in place and improving their balance just like they would a ball. These would be good for placing in various areas of the classroom to help students from wandering. Maybe use this in a designated wiggle spot within the room when a child’s seating option doesn’t seem possible.
9. Trideer Stability Ball Chair – Exercise Ball with Base
Like balls, this Trideer ball chair is best used for flexible seating in the classroom. This item comes with a base to prevent students from rolling onto the floor. With a weight limit that surpasses any of the other options on this entire list. The Trideer ball has Anti-burst technology and can withhold up to 2,000 pounds in weight. So bring on the jumps and bumps! This ball comes in two different sizes to accommodate both adults and children.
One of the main attributes that separate this ball from the others is not anything except for the sheer fact that it can withhold a substantial amount of weight. If you have ever been in a room full of children, you know they love to get energy out by flinging themselves onto something bouncy. AKA…your ball seats.
How to Choose the Right Stability Balls for Your Classroom
Because the flexible seating idea is so vastly promoted right now in education, there is an entire market of products geared toward educators without a lot of backing. There are several things to consider before purchasing a balance ball to make the most informed decision possible. Here we have some tips for things to look for before dropping the cash for your class.
What Is the Weight Limit?
While ensuring that a stability ball seems like it wouldn’t be a big deal if you have taught for any period, you know kids come in all shapes and sizes. And what you choose needs to accommodate everyone. Ensure your stability balls can accommodate at least 200 pounds of weight. This is great for you as the teacher or the rambunctious thirds grades who decide to sit three to a ball.
Choosing the Right Color
Color means a lot when it comes to a bright and comfortable classroom environment. There is a great deal of psychological science behind colors and the mood effect. Choose colors that will brighten up space and are proven to increase productivity and creativity in the classroom. Colors such as red, orange, green, blue, purple are colors that have been proven to increase serotonin levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase attention.
Obviously, the last thing you want to happen is having a student sit on the ball, slip right off, and bust their head right open. Whatever stability ball you choose, make sure that it has a surface that will not allow that to happen.
Look for stability balls that have a ribbed or textured surface to ensure no slipping and sliding. Also, because so many of these stability balls are used for yoga and other physical activity types, they sometimes have too much texture for massage during exercise. This particular case may not be comfortable for a kid to sit on for any prolonged time.
Have the Right Size
Ensure you have the correct size stability ball in your classroom to accommodate students’ age. Larger stability balls may be too tall for younger children, while smaller stability balls may not accommodate older students. So basically, check the reviews and verify the size of the ball before you purchase it.
Some Reasons to Use Stability Balls in the Classroom
There is an increased amount of research circling the use of stability balls and other flexible seating forms within the classroom. Because of that research, many schools have been able to make the case to purchase these children. Furthermore, a lot of research is still being done and promotes why these things are useful in the classroom.
They Help Students With Attention Disorders
Stability balls help students who have ADD, ADHD, or Anxiety primarily and help small children who are, by nature, wiggly little creatures. Because kids can move and fight on the stability ball, there isn’t the issue of getting out of the chair to roam, tapping pencils on desks, or finding other things to pay attention to aside from the teacher.
In fact, a study from the International Journal of Educational Research done in 2016 showed ” that sitting on stability balls improved attention span and temporarily alleviated anxiety/depressive symptomatology among grade 2 students.” The article suggests that parents and teachers alike should consider the use of stability balls within the classroom for classroom management and increasing engagement in school-aged children.
Strengthens Core Muscles
Like ergonomic desk chairs, using yoga balls for various exercises have a lot of health benefits. In this case, sitting on an exercise ball strengthens core muscles because this type of flexible seating requires the body to keep balance as not to fall off. As a side product, because these stability balls require students to use core muscles to balance, this also requires good posture to keep that balance. So, in the end, these balls engage core muscles while improving posture in both students and teachers.
Because of the constant and engaging activity on a stability ball, a student’s mind is not stopping. Using these balls improve engagement because the movement allows for both sides of the brain to be activated. When children are constantly moving, they are actively listening to what you have to say. With that said, kids can more easily accept and process new information being presented in class.
Introducing Stability Balls to Your Students
Introducing stability balls as flexible seating to students using rules can be straightforward. A teacher could explain that flexible seating allows students to choose where they sit, but they must follow certain guidelines. For example, the teacher could establish rules like: 1) Choose a seat that helps you do your best work. 2) Only one person per seat. 3) Respect others’ space and choices. 4) If a seat isn’t working for you, you can change it after a set period. This approach helps students understand that while they have the freedom to choose their seating, they also have the responsibility to make choices that benefit their learning and respect their classmates.
Did you know that exercise balls were invented back in 1963? These tools have been used now for decades for core strengthening routines and improving balance and posture. They now are being used all of the United States in offices as chairs, and now, in the schoolhouse. While the desk is slowly being phased out, children are granted more freedom to simultaneously wiggle and work in the classroom.
If your goal is to benefit your school’s children by providing seating that will bring more energy and systematic learning in the classroom, using a balance ball may be the best option for you.