I started searching online for beanbag chairs that had arms. This is what I decided to check out at Target:
When I got there, I took it off the bottom shelf and noticed that it was kind of floppy. The sides didn't really come up to "hug" the user, which was my main reason for buying a chair in the first place. While I was looking it over, a mom and young daughter came into the aisle where I was standing and studying it. I am rarely shy, so in full teacher/mom mode, I said, "Hi, I'm thinking of getting this chair for a special student in my class who likes to be cozy. Would your daughter be kind enough to try it out for me?" Moms are so sweet! She agreed, and her little girl had a seat. Yeah, the arms didn't hug her at all. "Thank you," I said. "I really need one with better arms. My little guy needs to feel hugged." AND THEN THE MOM SAID, "Oh, you need a Big Joe." Then she explained how WalMart had these great beanbag chairs for back to school for the college crowd. So, you know what I did? I got in my van and drove across the street to the WalMart, but they were all sold out. So sad.
All the college kids got them before I even knew they existed.
That night I did my research and found them online. They were VERY expensive! What was $40 in the store was $80 online in late September. Not to be defeated, I called every WalMart in my area until I found a store that had them in stock. I bought mine the very next day after school. Tah-dah!
Purchased at WalMart for $40! So cozy! So snuggly! My student with autism LOVED his chair. He was always willing to join the group on the floor since he got to sit in this awesome chair! Eventually, he took his chair to his specials classes too. He was able to spend much longer times in the room with the class because of his chair. Just so you know, I actually planned on buying two of them. One for my special guy, and one for my "student of the week." However, the learning strategist ( spec ed teacher) thought it would be a good thing if the chair could move grades with him. So I bought one for my class, and she bought one for him with her budget allotment. Win - win!
Big Joe was loved by ALL the kids, I have to say. The "Super Kid," (student of the week) got to sit in the Big Joe for Read to Self and all learning and instruction that took place in the meeting area. Doesn't it look cozy?
We love you, Big Joe chair!
What special seats do you have in your classroom?