Older Toddler +
As you may have noticed, we love felt. It's so inexpensive and versatile and even durable! We use it a lot. Because our felt Christmas tree was such a big hit, I was inspired to make a HUGE felt board for S in the Reading Room. I used just the prickly side of self-adhesive velcro to stick the felt sheet to the wall. This is roughly a yard and a half of black felt. I waited until I had a good coupon for a local fabric store, so it was less than $5! I chose to frame it out with wood, but you certainly don't have to. I used MDF floor trim - the most basic kind - and had Home Depot cut it for me (I had pre-measured the lengths I wanted). So the trim cost roughly another $6. If you don't have room for something like this in one of your rooms, it would be a great addition to hallway, perhaps? We had our felt Christmas tree up on one of our dining room walls.
I like that the board is bigger than S, so that we can make S-sized creations. Our first undertaking with the new board was to create a robot. S loves robots almost as much as dinos.
My Dad (my go-to project helper, hahaha) had just helped me finish hanging the frame the night before. S and I both just love it!
I used a coupon at the fabric store to score all these felt sheets at 20% off (and they're only 29 cents to start with!).
S got to dictate color size and shape of every robot part - and she was also in charge of placement. Learning how to stick pieces of felt to a board does take a bit of practice. I feel like S wasn't able to do this without getting frustrated until she was an older toddler (she's a seasoned pro now). This could also be fun for a younger toddler, but it would involve a lot of parental help (which sometimes young toddlers don't want! Ha!).
Robot's arms needed "thick, white stripes".
And of course he needed "a sparkly red heart" - she was undecided at first as to whether his heart should be under his body so it was "inside his body" or whether it should show on top.
And finally, she decided he ought to be saying "Wow", so I cut out the letters and she sounded out the letter ordering. I had planned on making one or two other robots, thereby completing a "mix and match" robot felt set, but alas, S insisted on only one. The mention of other robot friends joining him on the giant felt board was met with a "but I am his friend!!!" Hahaha. She finally relented the next day and let him have some pets. I think he's much happier now, don't you?
I just love following her directions to create whatever it is that's in her head. This is definitely not how I would have made a robot, which is what is so special to me about the process. If I'd just made a robot set for her, I would have missed meeting the robot friend she'd envisioned! And since he's pretty cute, it would have been quite a shame. :)
You can read more about our Reading Room, where the giant felt board lives here.
Please always supervise your infant/child at play. Please stay within arms reach and never leave infants/children unattended.