Flexible Seating Ideas: A Teacher's Experience with Storage Cube Ottomans

In the summer of 2011, I frequently roamed around Target. Not only did I enjoy their free air conditioning, but I also spent the time coveting the storage cubes that line the center aisle waiting to be snagged by college students. Since I get a lot of emails asking about them I figured it would be a good idea to write a review.

I NEEDED them for my small group area. But, at $17.00 a pop, it was hard to justify buying six of them for my small group teaching area when I had a surplus of chairs in my classroom. As I started to set up my classroom that year my desire to add the cubes increased. Ultimately I talked myself into buying them based on the fact that I hadn't spent much on my classroom that summer and instead had repurposed things I already owned.

Well, it's now 18 months later and they are starting to bite the dust. In the past month or so three of them have met their demise. There are two things to note: I teach 3rd grade so my students range in size from itty bitty to small adult.  Kids can't seem to sit in them and instead rock.

With that being said, I think 18 months is a pretty good lifespan. They've been used all day every day for 1 and 2/3 school years. I still prefer them to chairs because they allow me to fit 6 friends comfortably at my teaching table. Adults have sat in them for 2 years worth of parent teacher conferences. They provide a good amount of hidden storage (I love hidden storage). They are lightweight and very easy for a kid to move around the classroom. 
I bought these in the middle of the Milkcrate Seating Craze of 2011...which lingered into the summer of 2012. I debated making those. However, when I had my (then kindergarten) son sit on them they seemed too low to the ground. I imagined they would be way too short for 8/9 year olds. I also wasn't feeling all the crafty and didn't love the idea of constructing something. The milkcrates offer storage, but depending on what is inside they can looked cluttered. Finally, when I calculated the cost of materials and factored in time these were a no brainer for me.

Am I thrilled that they are creaking, caving in and meeting the dumpster one by one? Obviously not. Will I replace them next year with another pricey trip to Target? Most likely.

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