Blogger Kirsten Caldwell

Interactive Flannel Boards

Interactive flannel boards have become uber popular at my library with kids of all ages. They love being able to manipulate the felt pieces and create their own stories. The projects are quick and budget-friendly. I mix them up with the seasons to keep them exciting and it’s fun to come up with new ideas.

Benefits of Flannel Boards

The ALSC blog by Tess Prendergast discussed the benefits of flannel boards for storytelling. Tess shares that they are visually appealing, engaging, and are an inexpensive early literacy tool that you can make yourself. Children love using them in storytime to retell the story they heard. She also says that watching their brains process the story in a different way is really fun.

The National Child Development Council says that “Encouraging a child to re-tell a story or a number sequence or identify colors and shapes is a great independent activity as well as partner fun. Re-telling reinforces learning and abstract concepts. Preschoolers will gravitate towards this anyway if the materials are left on the board for their use. They will also make up their own creative stories using the flannel board shapes in a free-play setting. Children enjoy touching and feeling the soft manipulative shapes.”

Interactive Flannel Boards

I have started leaving out a portable flannel board with felt pieces that can be manipulated by children without a story. This has been a great passive early literacy activity! Kids end up discussing what is there and developing their own stories.

A few of the ones I have done are an interactive potato head where they could make Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head, an ice cream parlor for the summertime, and a build-your-own city with road pieces and different vehicles and traffic signals.

Have you used flannel boards as a passive activity? What ideas would you have for a winter board?

One comment

  1. Lauren

    What a great idea! I just made a pixel art flannel board activity with a grid and squares of felt. I printed off some patterns as ideas and it’s been engaging for our tweens and teens. We used a small cube table furniture piece we already had that has a ledge so things don’t slip off. Once I put away the pixel art, I’ll have to put out some flannel board pieces!

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