Looking for something fast/cheap/easy/fun/educational with which to entertain and amaze your toddler/preschooler/small child?
Might I suggest a flannel board?
Flatten one of those cardboard boxes you have sitting in your living room (what do you mean, “I don’t keep boxes in the living room”?), tape it that way. Cover with flannel, attach a string on the back, hang on the wall with a nail. Tada! Flannel board!
Sorry for the dim, grayish picture. It’s a dim grayish day. Now you need some pictures. I used some that my mother-in-law gave me for Max last winter. At first I was a bit at a loss in terms of what to do with them – I don’t have a bulletin board, after all – but it wasn’t long before I realized that they wanted to live on a flannel board. Just glue felt to their backsides, and voila!
Isn’t that fun? Max thinks they’re great. Now, if you’re not familiar with flannel boards, be aware that the pieces don’t stick as firmly as, say, a magnet to the fridge. They stick plenty well enough for kids to tell stories, put them up, take them down, have fun. Whatever.
So let’s review: 1 1/2 yards of flannel – $3.84. 10 pieces of felt – $2.00. Total out-of-pocket cost to me: $5.84, plus tax. Not bad, not bad at all. Your cost will vary, of course, depending on what you have on hand. You can use cardboard, plywood…something stiff, squarish and light. The flannel, of course, is a must (it’s in the name), and you can staple it, tape it, tack it on. For pictures? Whatever you want (as long as they’re not TOO heavy) and just stick felt on the back. Others have recommended velcro or a strip of sandpaper, but I prefer felt. It’s cheap, friendly, comes in a variety of colors – and felt’s never abraded anybody. And that’s it! That’s how to make a flannel board.
I might make Max another board. I’m probably going to make him more/different figures to go on there, and I’m definitely going to make a pouch to corral all of those pieces. But, I bought the flannel when I went to Walmart, and the clouds were really the best I could do when what I really wanted was a nice solid; perhaps a green. Come to think of it, I’m almost sure I saw some solid flannels at Joann’s when we were there. I should go back there, and get some. Huh? What are you implying, of course that’s the only reason I’d go back there so soon. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Uh…
Hey, look – llamas!