Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hat Counting Felt Board

Felt boards are often items that parents see in preschool classrooms and say "That would be neat to have at home!" It seems as though these fun learn-and-play items are only available to teachers or day cares. I want to show you how anyone can make a felt board for their playroom, and it only costs around $10! The one I picture below cost about $7 to make. I don't have any pictures of the process of making the board; I tried but technology hates me this week.

~Large piece of sturdy cardboard (I used a board that I found with the posterboard at my craft store)
       ~ply wood would work too, if it is thin enough to fit the frame, and would offer a more sturdy felt board.
~Large frame with no backing or glass. My craft store has a clearance rack for frames that are just the wooden     framing, for a few dollars depending on the size. The one I chose was $3
~Large sheet of white felt. These should be next to or under the smaller sheets of felt, folded and in plastic packaging.
~Hot Glue Gun

Step 1.
Cut the board to fit inside the frame. Cut the felt so that it gives a 2-3 inch border around the edges of the board (if you place the board in the center of the felt, there should be 2-3 inches of felt surrounding all sides of the board)

Step 2.
Lay the board in the middle of the felt. Cut a diagonal line from the corner of the felt to its corresponding corner of the board. Then cut a line that goes straight from each corner of the board to its corresponding straight edge of felt. So you are essentially cuting triangles out of each corner of felt, to help it wrap around the board a bit easier.

Step 3.
Fold each side of the felt around the back of the board, so that the felt is tightly fit around the board. Hot glue each side as you go.

Step 4.
Secure the felt covered board into the frame. If your frame did not come with fasteners, it can be stapled in.

You now have a home made felt board for your play room! To make the hats below, I simply cut hat shapes out of red felt, added white felt stripes with my glue gun. It was a fun counting activity for the kids during Dr. Seuss week! You can also make items for your kids to sort by color, size, or shape. And you can even create the characters and scenes from your kids' favorite books. Although that can be very ambitious, it gives children the chance to interact with literary characters and act out their story, or even change their story if they are feeling imaginative! It might not look 100%, but no one will be judging you. Chances are, your kids will be the only ones who see them, so who cares if your felt board has that "home made" edge to it. 

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