As promised, I am following-up my video from last week, where I spoke about the importance of proper table and chair height, in order to support children’s fine motor and visual motor skills. This week, I am focusing on how to adjust the chairs and tables to support children of any size, using materials you already have in your classroom/home.
The goal is to make sure the child has a 90-degree angle bend in his/her arms while they work at the table. If the chair is too short, then the child will need to raise his/her arms to reach their materials. This will create strain in their shoulders, and inhibit effective muscle/motor development. So what do you do about adjusting a short chair? I have always been a fan of phone books or just any type of large book, to boost children up on the chair. Before adding the books, make sure to place a piece of non-slip shelf liners under the books. This ensures the books will stay in place and you won’t be risking your students/children falling out of their chairs unexpectedly.
If you have high chairs in your classroom/home your students/children may be having issues touching their feet to the ground. It’s also important for children to have a 90-degree angle bend in their legs when they’re sitting because this creates stability in the body as the children work. To create foot support, you want to take a box, fill it up so it’s heavy, and wrap it for a nice footrest. You want the box to be heavy to ensure it doesn’t move around. Light boxes can be dangerous when used in this way because children could lose their balance and slip. There are many types of materials you can use to fill the box such as sand, rice, hay, wood chips etc. Whatever you have a lot of, use it. Another way you can stabilize the footrest is to cut out 2 holes in the top corners of the box and put the chairs legs inside those holes.
While my video offers easy ways to create a safer and more productive workflow in your classroom or home, my suggestions are not the only ways to adjust chair and table height. If you are a teacher, parent or childcare professional, and you want to share other ways you’ve achieved proper chair and table height in your classroom/home, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you so much for working with children.