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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kids Activity: Feltboard

Kids Activity: Feltboard home-made
Felt boards are a wonderful toy/tool that can be used for storytime or independent play, its benefits attested by parents and teachers alike. Considering that these felt boards have been well-loved and well-used at home, I don't doubt its merits.

The simpler the toy, the more complex the play, I remember reading somewhere.

These felt boards are easy for parents to make at home with just a few readily available materials. A 20x32 inch foam board cut in two makes two good-sized felt boards for small hands, 20x16 inch each. Felt fabric is usually under $2/yard, and being quite a wide bolt, quarter of a yard is more than enough for covering the foam board; and small pre-cut 9x12 inch or so rectangular felt pieces are available in various colors for making the shapes.

Items Used: Felt fabric in various colors, foam board, glue, scissors, tape, sandpaper (optional)
  1. Measure and cut a large piece of felt fabric to cover a foam board, fold the edges and glue/tape the felt fabric to the foam board
  2. Cut out small felt pieces in various shapes for the play; optionally glue on a piece of sandpaper at the back of these so the pieces stick better on the felt board
  3. Can also cut out pictures of favorite things from magazines and glue it on to felt fabric and cut around to make the felt pieces to play with
  4. Let children use their imagination and make creatures, machines, and things with these pre-cut felt pieces, or even tell a story
I went with a double color - blue and green with a horizon - so blue can represent the sky or ocean, with green being land or forest/jungle... Ana chose teal blue with green, whereas Oggie liked the more royal bright blue with the green for his board. But a solid single color felt fabric covering the foam board would be fine too.

Initially, geometric shaped felt pieces in various colors worked well for Og - a square or rectangle with a triangle on top became a house or a barn, a rectangle with two circles at the bottom edge became a car... and as he got comfortable with arranging/rearranging the felt pieces, animal shapes like penguin, pig, lion etc. came about from other pieces I had pre-cut and kept handy.

The kids each have their own felt board, with plenty of felt pieces to play with, along with some googly eyes and maybe even some yarn. The sand paper at the back helps hold the pieces - stick firmly - onto the felt board if they pick up the board and tilt it. But, even without the sandpaper, felt pieces stay put when flat on a work table. And can be easily picked up and moved around to change the scene/story.

Ana makes up stories about fairies and snowman and such, "decorating" each of her characters with care. Oggie leans more towards assembling cars, trains, animals etc., and talking about them as he builds.

There are felt board kits available - with themed felt pieces like Fairy Tale or Nursery Rhymes which can be used by parents for creating a magical storytime session with the very young.
The more a toy does, the less a child learns.
The less a toy does, the more a child learns.

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At 10:43 AM, Blogger Praba said...

Was going to email you or call reg felt board activities! Look forward to one soon! :)


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