Strategies for Comfortable Rug Sitting


A Teacher writes: okay…it’s day 58 in my kindergarten class and I am struggling to get a child to sit properly on the rug.

I’ve tried different things, but I am not having much success. I’d love to hear suggestions from my fellow colleagues here.


What do you mean by “sit properly”? What are your expectations?


How they sit does not determine engagement. Is the behavior an issue for learning or just disruptive to you?


Give them their own carpet square to sit on. A defined space for them to sit in and criss cross applesauce. I have also given students a chair to sit on at the back or off to the side of the classroom rug, if they can’t sit on the rug without bothering others. Good luck.


Let him sit how he’s comfortable or he won’t be engaged or present. I learned this many moons ago with a first grader with ADHD. I have a student in my preK class who is very tall for his age. He can’t sit criss cross applesauce…I simply tell him to move over and tell his friends he needs more room. I know I couldn’t sit with my legs folded so well!!!!!!💡


Get him or her a wiggle seat. The OT would probably have one. Or, let the child sit in a chair near your carpet. He probably does not have the trunk control to sit on the floor. A chair would help.


I have several like that. I let them sit in chairs just off the rug.


If this is about the criss-cross applesauce that we teach them…I think some kids legs start hurting after a while, I’m a kindergarten teacher, and I’ve learned that this is the cause, after so many years of teaching. My own son had a hard time, his legs weren’t flexible enough. As long as they are not bothering the person next to them with other behavior, I ignore it.


In the past I’ve put chairs at the back of the carpet and have told them they get a special seat sitting in the bleachers. Some children had difficulties sitting on the carpet either because of physical discomfort or because of a need to move. I have them sit where they are comfortable and work with the other children in understanding that everyone is different.


A chair?


Define sitting properly. If you are going with cross cross nonsense, throw it out. Let kids just be. You’ll have fewer problems that way.


Let him stand off to the side. It is working well for one of my boys.


 I teach an ECSE/pre-k blend and I’ve used stability pads from OT, taped off areas on the rug for visual aids, hola hoops to sit in & chairs on the outside of the carpet. Some times chairs work other times they slide out of them or lay on them.


I have a similar problem. My little one just shouts out when we are on the carpet in group time, but not the answers. He just shouts out to be distributive. I have tried ignoring, positive reinforcement and a behavior chart with no lasting results. He works well independently and listens to stories well. It is always when I am giving instructions or transitioning.


At Target I bought a small sheriff circle rug for $3. It gives my little ones a visual reminder of space so they don’t hit or get on the other students.


Carpet squares to put on the carpet. They have to sit in their space which is their carpet square. Go to a carpet store and ask for a donation. Most will gladly donate pieces that are too small to sell and will even cut it for you.


We are all different, my dear, and have our own ways of being comfortable.


Give him a chair. Not all kids can sit still on the carpet. As long as he’s not bothering anyone else it should be fine.


Some students that are disruptive may have a disability like ADHD/spectrum disorder. Try giving them a small squishy ball to squish during circle. Sometimes this may help. 


Everything that has already been said AND remember that Kinders shouldn’t be expected to sit still for prolonged periods of time. When I taught K, I’d give them lots of opportunities to stand up, move around, turn & talk, etc. Please remember rule of thumb(especially first half of K year) that the age of the child should be about the expected number of mins of sitting still…. Best of luck!


I use this Alphabet Rug. Each kiddo has a dot.


How about a carpet square to designate his space?


Inflate a beach ball with a couple puffs of air. It is more comfortable and gives sensory feedback. It’s worth a try.


Perhaps “spots” on the carpet for each child would work. I put adhesive circles (non-skid thingies for bathtubs) on the carpet with numbers on them; each child had their own number. Made it kind of special for each one.


I agree with the coloring in the back desk, but I’m also about to order for my whole class at $1 each



I give one of my kids a special necklace to wear during carpet time, it reminds him to raise his hand to speak and gives him a different fidget toy than the one at his desk. He also has is own (largish) carpet square to stay on.


Is the child learning? Are they disrupting the learning of others? If learning and not disrupting, think about if it is really so important that they sit properly on the rug. Some children simply don’t have that ability and it isn’t worth your stress.


I use a stuffed animal for story time. i chose one student to start and the animal moves from one person to the next as I turn the page. I remind the students that 5 star behavior is the key to having the animal. If their friend who is next to them is not doing or showing proper listening/ sitting behavior, they are to pass the animal to a different neighbor. 2-3 times of missing out normally corrects the behavior.


Just let that child sit in the back so no one else is bothered. Don’t stress about the things that will not matter in life.


Reward the ones who are sitting… skittle, compliment, whatever you think will work.


Please know that I appreciate all of your suggestions and that I am in no way judging this child or expecting kindies to sit perfectly on the rug. I just want to help this little boy settle so he isn’t distracting the children around him. He does sit in a chair at times, but other times he wants to be closer. I just want him to feel comfortable and accepted. I was feeling exhausted because I’ve tried so many things. I sensed that perhaps some thought I was being harsh with this little guy and just wanted to clear that up. Thanks again for the suggestions.



3 thoughts on “Strategies for Comfortable Rug Sitting

  1. That’s what I do. Let them sit on a chair towards the back of the group. It sounds like this may bother you more than him not sitting properly. Respectfully, at this level, your student is learning more than just the academics. Let him sit in a chair and you may see better scores.

  2. Several years ago I attended a seminar, the speaker addressed this subject. She suggested that you write each student’s name on a wooden clothespin, and place them into a large tin can. Each day at the end of circle time, select 5-6 of your best listeners. Clip their pins onto the top of the tin can. Throughout the day, use these students when you need a volunteer for any activity or errand. Return the pins to the can at the end of the day. Tomorrow you can choose new students. I have found this method works so well because children love to have a turn more than any candy treat.

  3. I’m not particular about having to sit cross-legged, but I don’t allow them to lay down or disturb others. If they aren’t paying attention or are disturbing others, I move them to a chair.

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