Monday, August 1, 2011

Guidecraft Educator Review #1 ~ Nordic Rocker

This is my 100th post - A time for celebration by doing something extra special ~ Introducing my readers to an amazing group of bloggers I am so excited to be a part of, the Guidecraft Educators, each of whom I know will bring a different perspective to reviews of products we have been generously given. As co-director of a nonprofit organization for children with disabilities and mother of a toddler, my reviews will focus on how each product can be used with children with special needs and/or toddler and preschool-age children. 

The first product we are reviewing is the Guidecraft Nordic Rocker.
This is a wonderful seating option for children with special needs. Some children have difficulty with sensory integration. Simply put, they are unable to organize all of the information their bodies are receiving. The interesting thing about our sensory system is that we actually have seven components, even though we only really learn about five senses.

Five commonly-taught senses:
1. Tactile (touch)
2. Sight
3. Sound
4. Taste
5. Olfactory (smell)

Our two other senses:

6. Proprioceptive (being aware of where our bodies are spatially)
7. Vestibular (movement)

There are a number of sensory-related activities you can try with a child - some may be calming, some may be alerting. Some may help a child to concentrate better, while some may be distracting. The great thing about the Guidecraft Nordic Rocker is that it allows children who crave vestibular input (movement) to move while still being seated safely. However, unlike most rockers, the Nordic rockers have flat bases (not curved bases). This allows for some rocking movement, but stops the child from tipping the chair over or rocking excessively.

Fabian (left) and Ryan (right) are enjoying circle time at school. They are able to move to the music while safely seated in their Guidecraft Nordic Rockers. 
These are great for large group activities when some children are sitting on the floor or small group activities when children are sitting at a table. The birch ply wood construction can accommodate children of different heights and weights, as well as different physical abilities and limitations. 

In addition to being used as a seating option for children with special needs, these are great in a reading area at home or in the classroom setting. The chairs are comfortable, colorful, and great for relaxing with a good book. Overall, this is a wonderful product for special education classrooms, general education classrooms, and children's bedrooms or play rooms. 

BUY IT! You can purchase a Guidecraft Nordic Rocker for just $70.

WIN IT! What's great about this Guidecraft Educator group is that each month, one of us will be hosting a giveaway of the product that we have all reviewed. Visit Katie's {Little Ones} Learning Lounge for a chance to win a Guidecraft Nordic Rocker for a special child in your life! This contest is open to the US and Canada. 

* I received the aforementioned product for free to review. The opinions expressed are honest and provided without monetary compensation.


  1. Hi, Nicole! Having owned many items made by IKEA and Guidecraft, I would definitely say that Guidecraft toys, furniture, etc. are of a much higher quality. As for the construction, it is made of wood, not pressboard/veneer. The cushion is actually a layer of foam, then a layer of a muslin-type material, then the red cover. The red cover can be removed, but we actually-machine washed and dried one at Abi's Place (not sure of the settings) and it was difficult to get it back on, so I would recommend hand-washing/drying. Thank for the questions!

  2. Carrie - awesome review!! Those chairs look awesome and Fabian looks so calm in the picture. Although this year will make it 2 years since he has been in Abi's place, he still seeks lots of input. He can't stay in one place for 5 seconds! :-) This chair would be great to have at is going on my shopping list!!