At the preschool where I work, I am the Queen of the Felt Board. There is nothing more fun for me than storytelling with felt pieces. Not only can “regular” people or objects be used, but random shapes (triangles, circles, hexagons) can be used to create the visual parts of a story. And, the pieces can be used to create a new story as well.
So, it should come as no surprise that I made my boys a felt board.
The felt board I made for my kids isn’t anything fancy. I created one in anticipation of a trip we’re taking shortly, so mine is small for travelling. The main components of a felt board set are a swatch of felt, extra felt or sandpaper (I like the sandpaper best), a file folder and illustrated pictures and/or objects.
I started by gluing the felt to the front of the file folder. The tricky thing is that felt doesn’t like glue. Using fabric glue, rubber cement or other tacky, thick adhesive seems to work best. Then, the file folder is stapled up the sides, leaving only the top open (like a pocket). The staples reinforce the adhesive of the felt to the folder as well. The newly created pocket can be used to store all the felt board pieces.
Next, the pieces need to be made. The quickest way to make felt board pieces is to glue magazine pictures to cardstock or heavy paper, cut them out, and attach sandpaper (or a small square of felt) to the back. No creative artwork needed! I enjoy creating felt pieces for my boys’ favorite stories, drawing out the characters and bits of scenery that are important to the story on a good quality printer paper (or even cardstock), and then affixing a piece of sandpaper to the back with glue.
For pennies, you can create a felt activity set for your child as well. They are great for travelling, rainy days…or just about anytime you are looking for a quick activity for your child! Involve your child in creating the pieces, too. You will be amazed at what they can come up with! Felt boards are a wonderful pre-reading activity with younger children and a great bridge to comprehension and retelling in older readers.