We've been adding the finishing touches to one of the toddler twosome's Christmas presents so i thought i would share it with you as it has been such an easy project and yet i think they will get many years of fun and discovery from it!
Feltboards are a fantastic tool for children to explore their imagination and can also be used for singing, colour recognition and counting games...I have been busy adding a few little felt critters, stories and songs but you really don't need to be creative....toddlers love to create their own little pictures from felt scraps or shapes if that is all you have. For those a little more creative there are numerous templates, songs and games free on the net if you do a little searching.
I always used a feltboard when i worked in childcare and enjoyed making little felt resources so it has been a bit of a step back in time for me to be making them again....sitting here at night gluing eyes and remembering rhymes and songs has brought back many memories of Miss Teen when she was the toddler twosome's age!
I introduced my little feltboard to the girls some time ago and they have enjoyed playing with it but because it is such a small space there have been the inevitable squabbles and differences in 'artistic licence'!
So when i decided i wanted to make them their own for Christmas i thought a double sided easel that could be folded easily out of the way would be perfect! One side for each twin and lots of play space to explore that imagination and their own unique creative play styles!
I'm really pleased with how well it has turned out and can't wait to see their faces on Christmas morning!
For those that would like to try making your own it really is a simple process and i have tried to include quite a few photos as really they explain the process better than i could!
First you'll need two sheets of MDF in the size you would like your feltboard sides to be. We used a thickness of around 6mm but it is really up to you!
You'll also need some felt to cover the board...make sure you allow for enough to pull to the back of the board as well. I used blue but you might prefer green or half and half to replicate the sky and grass.
Spread your felt pieces out and lay each board on top of each piece of felt. Check your measurements before cutting your felt further!
we found the easiest way to get a good fit once you have checked your measurements was to lay the board on top of the felt as shown in the pic below........
Then pull it up and over and stretch to the other side of the board to check your fit...make sure you have the same sort of overhang at the other end of the board......
Now you are ready to begin gluing! Fold back the felt and using a paintbrush cover the board lightly in glue. We used watered down PVA wood glue so it was like a wash and spread easily without leaving marks on the felt when it dried.
Pull your felt back over and onto the board and smooth so there are few wrinkles...spend a little time on this as it is worth it!
So hopefully you should end up with something like this!!
Flip it over so you are now working on the back of the board......
Use your glue wash to paint a border around the edges.....
Cut your corners on an angle to ensure a neat finish.....
Then fold over the side pieces...add a little glue to those corners to ensure they stick down well.....
Now lay your boards side by side (with the side you just glued facing up towards you) and screw in a couple of small hinges...easy...you don't even need a drill!
Then fold over to check it is lined up the way you want it and the hinges are doing their job! You're nearly done!!
His Patient Self added a little chain between each side to prevent the boards from opening too wide and falling flat. Not entirely necessary but they do improve stability and the safety of the feltboard.
And there you have it...a double sided feltboard ready for action!! Lots of space for them to work on the same side together or separately! One very easy and thrifty present!
A few little felt creatures and stories i have been working on...
5 Little Speckled Frogs..
Mr Brown's Apple Tree
...love, love this story for engaging toddlers!!!
And an old favourite the toddler twosome have just discovered...thought we could have some fun telling our own story using these pieces!
The Hungry Caterpillar
I really think the toddler twosome will have fun with this and it was such a nice feeling to be making them something special to share together...well that's the idea anyway...time will tell!!!
Do you like to play with felt at your place? It really is a timeless classic and one of those activities that is sure to keep a toddler (and many older children!) still for a little while at least!
You can click on the picture below to visit more toddler felt fun and ideas! And look at how tiny our old board looks now!!
Hope your week before Christmas isn't flying by as fast as mine is...so much to do yet so little time!!!
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