Offering Alternative Seating Options Beyond Criss-Cross Applesauce

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Did you know that if your students are sitting still, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are engaged? I think we’ve all been there, wanting to stop “the wiggles” at Circle Time. But we also know that not all of our students learn the same way. That includes the way they sit while they are learning. In Pre-K & Kindergarten, flexibility is important! We can let kids be comfortable AND increase their engagement by offering alternative seating options beyond criss-cross applesauce.

*For more tips on how to create a positive AND playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

Want to increase student engagement at Circle Time? Try offering alternative seating options beyond criss-cross applesauce!

Offering Alternative Seating Options Beyond Criss-Cross Applesauce

Though it may be popular, criss-cross applesauce is not always the best seating option for every student. Especially for kids that are working on their core strength or have a larger body. It can be uncomfortable for some kids to sit that way. And we do our best learning when we are comfortable.

(As I type this in an office chair I have one foot up and am sitting on the other… we want to be comfortable to focus as adults, too!)

Remember, a student being “still” isn’t a sign that they are listening, AND a student “wiggling” doesn’t mean they are not listening.

Offer alternative seating options on the carpet so students can do their best learning.

So what can we do instead?

Teach criss-cross applesauce AND also offer alternative seating options.

Legs off to the side (mermaid) and knees bent in front (mountain) are both great seating options at Circle Time. Students are still sitting flat, but they are comfortable.

OR teach students how to self-select a spot that gives them more space so they can have their legs in front of them (sticks). They may want to choose a spot where they can sit on their feet (low knees) as long as others can still see.

Legs off to the side in the mermaid position is a great seating option.
Some kids may want to sit on their feet in the low knees position.

If you’re reading this and feeling hesitant due to space concerns or maybe you’re just feeling overwhelmed – I get it! Try offering just one or two additional seating options. You will be surprised to see that even a small change can still lead to increased student engagement!

Just remember, the goal IS NOT to fit perfectly on a spot. The goal is to teach students how to self-manage their space and be respectful of other people’s space.

Want to stress less with even more “must-try” tips while learning how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?

(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)

If you’re wanting to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, effective routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you’ll definitely want to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

This P.L.A.Y. course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom!

This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom. Be sure to request an invitation so you’re the first to hear when the virtual doors open!

The Kindergarten Connection
Offering Alternative Seating Options Beyond Criss-Cross Applesauce
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