I adore watching my son’s creativity in action. He’s in his bedroom, eyebrows furrowed in concentration, little legs surrounded by felt shapes. There’s a lake, with blue and yellow fishies. Here’s the barn. Over there is the garden, growing bigger and bigger. He’s engaged and immersed in his little world, and it’s all thanks to our newest DIY learning project, a custom felt board!
Have you fallen in love with felt yet? My little guy is loving the felt board I created for him! Felt is perfect for toddlers for so many reasons. It’s inexpensive, super versatile, and did I mention incredibly quiet? Ah, yes please!
I’ve found that a felt activity is the perfect solution for when I need my son to play independently and quietly. Our new felt board comes in handy when I need to cook dinner or get another “mommy task” done!
I came up with this simple DIY felt board idea as I was rummaging through our craft drawer. It’s easy to make, safe for toddlers and babies to play with, and your little ones are sure to love it!
Today, I’ll teach you how to make a custom felt board for your kids. It will take you less than 15 minutes, I promise! Plus, at the end of this post I’ve put together three simple learning activities your toddler can do with your new felt board.
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Are you ready? Let’s do it!
Cut out a piece of cardboard for your backing. Mine is about 2 x 2 feet. Make yours smaller (or bigger!) to meet your needs.
Cut a large piece of felt to cover the cardboard. I used a dark green that I had left over from a DIY felt Christmas tree. Use whatever color makes you have! Make sure it’s at least 2 inches wider on all sides to leave room for a hem.
Stitch a simple loop hem all around the edges. You can see my (not-so-fancy) stitches below. Notice how I wrapped the stitch around the corner for maximum sturdiness.
Flip your board over and trim off the excess felt. Leave about 1/4 inch of felt past your stitch so you know it won’t fall apart.
Cut your shapes out of felt! I like to include lots of options, even squiggly lines so my little guy can create anything his heart desires. Be sure to include lots of options for sorting and categorizing: big and small, long and short, wide and thin…
Now you have a custom DIY felt board ready for play time!
So, what are some easy activities to get your toddler learning? Here are three early learning activities for your felt board:
1. Explore Big and Small!
Introduce your toddler to the concept of relationships. For instance, show him a big triangle. Then place a small triangle directly below it. Point to each shape and say “big” or “small.” Repetition is key here, folks! Try this a couple of days in a row, then ask your little one, “Where is the big triangle? Where is the small triangle?”
2. Practice Patterns!
Have you ever noticed that when your young toddler babbles, he often repeats “phrases” over and over? Our little ones are naturally hard-wired to understand patterns and sequences. Enhance his understanding by showing him shape and color patterns! For example, say, “yellow, blue, yellow, blue” as you point to the shapes below. Your toddler will soon be able to repeat patterns along with you. Little math genius, anyone?
3. Cultivate Creativity!
One of the deciding factors in successful adults is their measure of creativity. Creativity simply means the ability to generate new ideas or expand a current idea. Children are born with this ability, and it’s our job to help it grow! This activity is super easy to set up. Simply set an array of felt shapes within arm’s reach of your toddler and let him do his thing! The fantastic part of this activity is that once you set up, you can let your little one create while you make dinner (or read this article on Jules & Co!).
There you go! An easy DIY felt board plus three fun activities to keep your little one busy.
Give me the scoop, how did your DIY felt board turn out? What toddler activities did you try? I can’t wait to hear about what your little one creates!
This works so sweetly with my 3 pre-schoolers’ ages 10 mos, 2 yrs, & 4. They love playing with our felt stories. Thanks! Oh, the butternut squash was a real winner! Shirli
Love this idea! I’ve made a snowman themed felt board before for my 21/2 yr old, but never thought about making lots of different shapes. I think doing patterns with her will be fun! Liz
That’s great! Maybe we will feature a snowman felt board on Jules & Co this winter 🙂
Love this idea.How do the felt pieces stick on the main board?