Bouncy Chairs

Kids love them. And so does their teacher.

Third graders bounce with energy. But, instead of fighting it, Josh Sell gives his class the green light to bounce away.

Josh, who teaches at Southview Elementary School in Waconia, traded regular classroom chairs for stability balls.

And, after nine years of experience, there’s no turning back.

“I can’t imagine it,” he says. “There are just too many good things about these bright yellow bouncy chairs.”

One benefit — the scientific one — is that bouncing increases the kids’ heart rate, which increases blood flow to the brain.

That can help students retain the lessons they’re learning.

“Another benefit is posture,” Josh says. “The kids can’t slouch on the balls very easily. They’ve got to sit up straight.”

Josh got the idea from a fellow teacher. At the time, he was moving from teaching second grade to third and thought it was worth giving it a try in his own classroom.

His principal liked the idea, but didn’t have money for it. Josh found funding help from two local chiropractors and the sports medicine department at the hospital.

“The thing that’s most important to me is that the kids don’t have to sit still. They’re welcome to bounce all day as long as they keep their feet on the floor,” Josh says.

“It does take some practice, so I have some regular chairs in my room if they need to take a break from the ball. But the kids pick it up pretty quickly.”