Sep 23 , 2020
Have you heard of a wobble cushion? How about a wiggle seat or balance disc?
If your child has a hard time sitting still, has poor balance, or weak core strength, these are a common tool ...and they are simple and affordable.
There is tremendous power in using wiggle seats, wobble cushions, or balance discs to help your child with attention, staying seated, their core strength, or balance.
Wobble cushions, wiggle seats, fidget seats, and balance discs are the same thing. No matter what you call it, it’s referring to an inflated disk, often covered in a bumpy texture. This disc can be sat on to:
- Help with poor attention
- Improve core strength and postural control - (which is super important for tons of developmental tasks from chewing food to handwriting)
- Increase length of time able to tolerate sitting
- Develop a better sense of balance
Who should use them?
Wiggle seats have long been used with kids that have known sensory issues or difficulties, which often includes kids with Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
But…many kids may have difficulty sitting still, have attention challenges, low core strength and balance issues.
Lots of kids could benefit from sitting on a wiggle seat.
Do they work & why are they so special?
Well, they aren’t a stable surface like a normal chair, but they aren’t too unstable that a child could fall off or lose their balance.
Wiggle cushions give just enough wobble and wiggle to keep kids moving without being distracting to other’s around them. That movement gives vestibular input as well as proprioceptive input and the textured wiggle seats give tactile input.
Some kids that are tactile sensitive and may prefer a smooth wobble cushion to sit on.
These movements can be very calming and meet the needs of sensory seeking kids.
As a core building activity, the constant wiggling that the wobble cushion demands engage the muscles of the stomach and back and kids with poor balance can improve their sense of balance with practice.
You can basically use a wobble cushion anytime your child is sitting but they can also be used for standing on to improve balance.
Picking a Wiggle Cushion for your child
Most wobble cushions, wiggle seats, and balance discs offer the same disc shape with air, or in some cases gel inside, to give the body a chance to move around while seated. Depending on your child’s preferences and exactly what your main goal is with this simple seat, you’ll want to consider your child’s needs.
The Spiky Wiggle Cushion – is probably the most widely used and versatile seat
The Bumpy Wiggle Seat – is quite like the Spiky Wiggle Cushion but is much smaller and has barely detectable bumps on it
The Wobble Cushion with Gel – offers a totally smooth surface and is great for the child who prefers the ‘squishier’ texture of a seat filled with gel instead of air
The Wedge Wiggle Cushion – is different to the classic seat and is shaped like a wedge designed for optimal core strengthening.
So now you know what a wiggle seat or wobble cushion is and how to use it, how could it benefit your child the most?