Thursday, October 11, 2012

Flannel Boards

These are drawn on interfacing, a material normally used to add body and strength to clothing.

How to compete with TV?  You can make your storytelling more exciting (and touchable!) with felt boards/flannel boards.  Have you seen those at library story times?  They are simply boards covered with fabric which is clingy (like your toddler some days?!), such that you can easily place and take off fabric figures.

Whether you hang some felt on an easel or just make a little flannel board with a manila file folder, you can punch up your storytelling.

I've made cheap and easy figures out of white interfacing and Sharpie markers and I've made the more complicated, elaborate figures out of felt, dimensional paint, glue and black interfacing.

"Hey Diddle Diddle" -- These were not cheap or easy or quick to make!  But great therapy :)

If you go the interfacing/Sharpie route, it won't be hard to find supplies. Wal-Mart sells the white interfacing and Sharpies are even sold at drug stores.  In good light you'll be able to see through the interfacing well enough to trace over any simple black and white patterns (those can be found in books, on the internet, or you can just make your own).  When you're done cutting and coloring your figures, the interfacing should cling pretty well to either felt or flannel.

If you go the more complicated route you may have to go to more than just your typical Wal-Mart fabric department.  I had to stop at 3 different stores to find black interfacing and flannel in the colors I wanted.  There are a lot of steps to this complicated method, so it's ideal if you want a really nice handmade look and you have the chance to work a little, let your glue or paint dry, and work a little more, etc. (or if you have older kids who are willing to help you).

Wal-Mart sells a 12-pack of assorted felts for under $3.

8-year-old "Peel" helped to trace figures out of the book.  She used a fine-point Sharpie and tracing paper.

There are some good books in our local library system that have nursery rhymes and stories ideal for reading aloud with flannel boards.  I used the The Flannel Board Storytelling Book to make the flannel figures in the "Hey Diddle Diddle" picture above.

I looked up a few links that have some other ideas of how to make these:

Here is a felt board
Here are some (very fancy) tips for working with felt
Flannel Friday is a Pinterest group with new ideas weekly
And here are some more flannel board patterns

Do you have some ideas to add?  Please share!

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  1. darling. i find my felt boards and pre-made felt pieces at my local thrift store. i look forward to making my own someday. thanks for the links.

  2. Hey Diddle Diddle is extra cute!

  3. Thanks, ladies! I just found this video, too--and it includes the great book I borrowed with the Hey Diddle Diddle patterns: