When you come into my occupational therapy studio or classroom, you'll find that several of the tables are coffee table height and without chairs. This seems to puzzle the kids I work with.
So, why no chairs? Well, I found out that little kids really have a hard time sitting in chairs. They fall out of the chairs, they wiggle in the chairs, they rock them back and forth..they do anything but stay in chairs. Kids don't want to sit ! They need to move. While we are working on fine motor or handwriting, we sit at my "kneeling tables". While working, the kids have the freedom for movement AND for working on trunk stability and core strength via long kneeling.
I always urge my pre-k and elememtary school teachers to use kneeling tables and any that have used it say the kids love it! Of course, it can be tiring, however, with 10 minutes a day (during a functional fine motor, art, or handwriting activity), kids can really benefit. From an O.T. perspective, this kneeling strategy not only improves trunk stability, balance and oculomotor skills but also can help with attentional skills. This is because the movement (and dynamic balance required) wil help give the sensorimotor centers of the brain input which in turn, generates better attention.
So, bring out the kneeling tables and see better developmental and attention skills!
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
Read past Blog here