A long time ago I had a nanny job which I loathed because of the parents, not the children. In order to distract myself from the fact that I, a virtual stranger, was raising someone else’s kids, I created a flannel board to help the three year old learn his letters. It was a bare bones approach. I took an old pair of pajama pants (purple plaid), cut them up and duct taped them to a large flexible piece of cardboard. It was a hit. The two doctors I worked for were a bit appalled by how ugly it was and I really didn’t blame them. But it helped their kid learn to read and I’m happy to say that I played a part in that. I like to think that in the end that’s why I came to be there.
Today I have my own kids and although I do raid the recyclables frequently for project materials I wanted to make this board to last. I chose to re-purpose an old bulletin board- one that was just the right size to fit on the back of my daughter’s door. I went to Jo-Ann’s, selected a lovely blue color to stand for the sky and bought 2 yards of felt. It was more than I needed but I had illusions of creating some travel boards for the car. That still might happen. You know, One Day.
I put the bulletin board face down on the felt and then trimmed and folded like I was gift wrapping. Next, instead of taping it all down I used a staple gun to go all the way around the back edge. My husband had to drill into the door in order to get it securely attached and as a renter I did feel rather badly about that. Then I looked around at all the neglected aspects of my house and fixated on the fact that we do not have a dishwasher. Suddenly I no longer felt any guilt at all.
We have really just begun to embark on all the possibilities that come from having a felt board at our disposal. We have other means of practicing our letters and numbers so currently we are focusing on pictures.
I am particularly interested in tying in a literacy component as you can see here with the Pete the Cat and The Hungry Little Caterpillar themes.
My daughter must have stuck that Sneetch on when I wasn’t looking.
Pete the Cat is very fun to play with because the story is so short and simple and therefore easy to memorize. We’ve also created a bag of shapes to use as construction materials for houses, playgrounds, etc. That red thing on the left is a polka-dot house but I’m sure you knew that.
So if you don’t have a feltboard yet it’s a relatively cheap project and my two year old can be fairly independent with it. Colored felt can be purchased at Micheal’s in fairly stiff sheets but you can reinforce it with spray starch. Just spray it on the felt, iron it, and let it dry outside.
Do you have any feltboard themes that have been a big hit with your child? Please tell me:)