Magic Cushions

green therapy cushion

Me: This is the story of the Gingerbread… Timothy!
Students: Who is Gingerbread Timothy?
Me: Timothy, what are you doing? Sit down. Where were we? Oh, that’s right, we were about to read the story of The Gingerbread Man and … that’s enough!
Students: The Gingerbread Man had enough of what?
Me: Timothy, sit down over here by me. That part of you belongs on the floor, not in the air!

Does this sound familiar? Have you ever had a student who just couldn’t seem to sit still no matter what? I pulled every single teacher trick out of my bag and nothing seemed to work for more than a minute with Timothy. He simply had to be moving all. the. time.

magic cushion fun and function

I recently learned about these super cool tactile cushions from Fun and Function that are designed not only to help students who have sensory processing disorders but also those like Timothy who need to constantly be on the move. Tactile cushions can help students who need constant stimulation by providing the sensation of movement.

The My Magical Cushion from Fun and Function comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The one I have is 15 inches around and made of a very thick, durable vinyl material. One side of the cushion is smooth and the other has raised bumps. You can also increase or decrease the air inside to get a perfect fit for each child.

I was talking shop with my friend Heidi of Heidisongs and happened to mention these magical cushions to her and how I wished I had known about them sooner. She has these in her classroom and had a few words of advice for using therapy cushions in a regular ed classroom. First, she said they really work! Yes, can you believe it? Something that really does what it says it does, how cool is that?

Second, Heidi recommended getting more than one cushion because students may become jealous of the child who has one. If possible, have several and make sure the ones who really need them get them, but rotate the other cushions among the other students to balance things out. Whew! Thanks for helping me dodge that bullet Heidi :)

She also said they really hold up well which is a huge relief when working with young children. I don’t know about you but I’m sold on these therapy cushions!

Wouldn’t it be cool if restaurants gave these out with kid’s menus?

If therapy cushions aren’t in your budget try writing a grant using my Donor’s Choose recipe for success.

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary therapy cushion from Fun and Function for purposes of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

About Vanessa Levin

Vanessa is the creator of Pre-K Pages and author of the book A Fabulous First Year and Beyond: A Practical Guide for Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers. She has more than two decades of teaching experience and enjoys helping kids and teachers through her professional development sessions. Follow Vanessa on Facebook, Google +, Twitter and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. they do work quite well…i’ve used several of them through the years. my problem this year is the child who will not sit on one…she will put it on her head, in her lap, toss it in the air…oh my……one day she was trying to stand on her head with it!!!!!!!

  2. Oh Donna, I feel your pain! There’s always one…

  3. I was just thinking that very thing – the kids in my classes who need them the most would be the ones who do everything BUT sit on them! 😉 I would love to buy these, but to have enough would blow my entire budget for the month, especially since they cost more in Canada. But at least I can now look for something similar – thanks for the tip!

    • Thanks for stopping by Andrea. Hopefully the school is paying :) The good thing is they can do everything but sit on them and they won’t break or fall apart. Good luck!

    • Andrea,
      You could try using deflated playground balls if you need several. That would definitely be more affordable.

  4. These are great things!! I have a first grader with sensory issues, mainly proprioceptory. We purchased a disc and made a weighted vest from a child’s hunting vest with rice bags in the pockets (much less expenaive) and these two do very well for him in the classroom. As a classroom teacher having a sensory child, it makes you so much more aware of some things and that some kids just cannot help themselves, so you need to figure out how to help them. Thanks for sharing and hopefully this will help a few more wiggly kids out there!!

  5. Yes, I second Amy’s suggestion: a very partially inflated beach ball (easily found at dollar store, Target, etc.) creates a similar experience … It’s not identical, and they’re not half as sturdy as an authentic therapy cushion, but it’s not a bad idea to try it out w/ the beach ball to see how the child responds before investing big bucks with the therapy cushions. Good luck :)

  6. This cushion was a life saver for a 1st grader of mine, many years ago. She actually said she felt she concentrated and focused better while using it.

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