So Much Cuteness. How Does This Work?
Ok, you think Flannel Board Fun felt goodies are totally adorable, and you want in on the cuteness. But who are you supposed to buy them for? What’s the point of these cute fuzzy things? Why are they good for little brains and hands? What do you DO with them? And by the way, why should you believe me? This is where I answer all of those questions! So go pilfer some gummy bears from your kids’ stash, sit back, and have all your questions answered.
Just Give Me a Summary, Please. I'm Busy.
Felt semi-sticks to felt. So kids can use my 3 distinct types of felt sets (all of which build early learning skills through play) at home or on the go–using a felt Play Mat. My kids’ sets (which come with songs and rhymes and a list of books) are perfect for kids 3 to 7+. I’ve also got tried and true felt sets for preschool teachers and librarians to use during story times. For more info and video clips, go get some coffee and expand the questions below 🙂
What Is a Flannel Board?
Long, long ago, in the 1970s and ’80s–or maybe even before that–teachers and librarians started to use large, flannel covered boards as a storytelling method. They’d make figures out of felt (or paper backed with sandpaper) and adhere them to the flannel board. The board was usually propped in front of the kids on an easel. This method of storytelling was more engaging than just a verbal story, and more interesting than simply looking at static pages in a book. Teachers and librarians are still using them today, keeping preschoolers and kindergartners engaged and learning through play!
What is a Felt Set for Kids?
I make three distinct types of felt sets for kids 3-7+, all sized to use on my felt Play Mats.
- Quiet Sets are sets like my Dinosaur and Ocean sets. The pieces are all assembled (fins are attached to fish; lava is attached to volcanoes). Children can use them to create stories, set up scenes, accompany real or made up songs, etc. You can see a video of a Quiet Set in action right here.
- Stories & Songs are similar to Quiet Sets in that all the pieces are attached. But these sets are based on traditional preschool stories and songs like Goldilocks or Five Little Monkeys. Of course, children can and will make up their own scenes, stories and songs with these guys as well! You can see a video of a Story Set right here.
- Finally, we’ve got DIY Sets. These sets come with most pieces detached. The point of these is to build, take apart, and rebuild, for endless combinations! Build your own Robot or Bug, and then do it all over again in a brand new way. You can see a video of a DIY Set right here.
- You can find all of my sets in the Shop section
What is a Felt Set for Story Time?
I make all sorts of felt sets for story time! Many of the sets fit into several of the categories below, since they are so versatile. They all come with at least two printed rhymes or songs, as well as a list of book titles related to the theme, which can be used either at story time or simply to read with kids one-on-one.
- Stories are based on traditional preschool stories like Goldilocks. Of course, you can make up your own imaginative variations with these guys as well! (For obvious reasons, I don’t sell sets based on copyrighted books.)
- Counting Sets are a great way to introduce early math concepts to kids in a playful way. You can rhyme, chant and sing with these sets–most of them are designed to count either up to five or down from five.
- Song Sets are based on new and classic preschool songs, are great for building early literacy and language skills, and are just plain cute.
- Rhyming Sets are FUN ways to get kids engaged, while sneaking in early math and language skills at the same time.
What Is a Play Mat?
Play Mats are my child-friendly, portable, and cute version of a flannel board. They’re just right for kids to use at home, on the go, or in a classroom. They’re intended for flat surfaces like a table, car seat tray, airplane tray, a lap, the floor, etc. You can see a video of a Play Mat (aka Travel Mat) in action right here.
Who Should I Buy a Felt Set For?
Kids: My sets make great gifts for children from about 3 all the way up to 7 or 8! Kids under three will need an adult or older sibling to play with them.
Adults: Preschool teachers and librarians love these things, too–they are perfect to enhance circle time and story time. You can even consider them for speech and occupational therapists, as well as for seniors in assisted care settings!
What's So Great about Felt Sets?
Kids just love handling the soft, colorful pieces and creating their own stories. Or reenacting stories, songs and poems they’ve been told. Doing that builds imagination, story-telling abilities, and lots of early literacy skills! Beyond that, using my felt sets enhances fine motor development as kids pinch the pieces to move them around, press them into place, and move them around again. Sorting by color, shape and/or type occur naturally. All of my sets happen to come with a list of books related to each theme, and/or the lyrics to related rhymes or songs. Those provide too many added benefits to list, but think pre-reading and writing, just to name a couple!
And at story time, using a flannel board gets those wiggly kids engaged by providing them with a moving visual to focus on. Having a prop can help the adult in charge feel more confident and comfortable as the pieces become the center of attention. With a small group, the felt pieces can be handed out so the kids can really feel engaged in the story time. Plus, felt board sets are just. plain. fun.
Are Your Sets Safe For My Little Love Bugs?
My sets and Travel Mats are all compliant with US Toy safety regulations. That means that the construction methods and materials used have been tested and are safe for kids to use. Felt is not considered a choking hazard by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, but I still strongly recommend supervision if children under 3 are using my sets.
Can I Use a Play Mat In My Classroom?
Play Mats can definitely be used as a background for felt board stories–but they’re intended for flat surfaces like a table, car seat or airplane tray, a lap, the floor, etc. They are flexible, so they don’t stand up by themselves to use in front of a circle time or story time group. They are perfect for kids to use independently, with a friend, or with a grown up! You can see a video of a Travel Mat in action right here.
You Talk About Felt Sets. Is It Felt, Or Is It Flannel?
I use the traditional term “flannel board” in my business name, but all of my products are made of beautiful, soft to the touch, and long lasting wool-blend felt.
How Do Your Felt Sets Work? Is There Velcro On The Back?
Nope, no Velcro here. (It ruins the surface of a felt board!) Felt sticks to felt–not permanently, but sort of like vinyl sticks to a window. So kids put the felt pieces onto one of my felt Travel Mats, and the pieces ‘stick’ enough so that they don’t fall off. They can be moved around to tell stories, or “build” various scenes and characters. Check out my YouTube channel to see them in action.
For story time, I recommend leaning your sturdy felt board at a slight angle to keep the pieces firmly in place as you use them.
Who Are You, And Why Should I Believe You?
Check out my About page for more details! I’m Wendy, and I was a happy little preschool teacher for just about 25 years. I used flannel board sets to tell stories to the children in my class. They could barely stop themselves (and sometimes they didn’t!) from coming up and whisking the story pieces off the board! So along with the sets I make for story time, I started making sets for kids to use independently.
Too tired to read? Check out these videos to learn all about the adorable felt goodness that is Flannel Board Fun.
Want Some Goodies?
Grab a free song and dance cube for preschooly fun right here!