| Early Learning |
Felt boards are definitely underrated. They are such a great activity for children of all ages and offer such an amazing educational opportunity as well. They can be purchased or you can actually make your own sets at home with some felt material and a board. The making part could be just as fun as the playing part.
The set I use at home was originally purchased for my prep classroom. I have since used them many times at home with both Cristian and Sofia. They love playing on their own and creating some interesting scenes or we play together and it may be more guided. ⠀
Felt boards offer some more fine motor skill practise, as a child needs to use their fingers to choose their felt images and place them on the board. This activity also allows them to use their creativity. They may create scenes that portray a real life situations or an imaginary scene where dinosaurs and humans coexist. What a great way to build their creativity! There is no wrong idea when using felt boards. open ended activities like this create a sense of success.
I always find that this activity leads to some fun conversations. Obviously Sofia is still little for these conversations so they are more so led by me. Whereas Cristian is beginning to explore his vocabulary in order to tell us what he has created. In the beginning he would only tell us the exact images on the board, but now he is starting to explain what is happening in the scene. Meaning that he is telling us a story that he has created. His imagination always impresses me. Kids are naturally quite creative, we just need to give them opportunities to explore it.
This activity could also be done with more structure. Sometimes I will sort the felt boards so that they are in themes (eg. farm, space, prehistoric etc) and together we will create 'real' scenes. I may tell the story and Cristian will create the picture to go with it. I use a lot of directional language in this activity such as left, right, above, next to etc. Some children may not respond well to the structure. If this is the case, just let them lead and explore for themselves.
The ways in which you can use felt boards are endless, let your child explore their imagination and be amazed by what they create. Encourage the dialogue and you will take a fun activity to another level. ⠀