Felt boards are an important learning tool. There are many, many reasons why you should make your child a felt board (or buy one, if you don’t want to make it). Not only will a felt board keep your kiddo occupied for a while, but it has a whole host of educational benefits as well.
Benefits of Using a Felt Board
Imagination & Creativity
Felt play expands the imagination! If left to play, kiddos will make up their own stories using the materials provided. Children will create characters, storylines, conflicts, etc.
When used during story time, they provide additional visual and hands-on learning. Children need to experience learning in a variety of ways, through a variety of senses. Telling a story using felt uses multiple senses: sight, hearing, and touch. Adding the sense of touch increases understanding and learning for many children.
Fine Motor Development
Playing with felt pieces develops fine motor skills. Felt pieces can be made in many different shapes and sizes. Kiddos will have to use their fine motor skills to manipulate the pieces how they wish. They’ll be developing skills and not even know it! That’s the best kind of learning.
When multiple children use a felt board together, verbal skills, problem-solving, and creativity are developed! They will have to cooperate with each other and work through their disagreements. These are wonderful skills to have. As the parent or teacher, stand near them to be available if they need assistance but don’t solve their problems for them. Let them come up with solutions to their problems and only step in if the disagreement escalates. By working together, they will get to create characters and take on those roles. Pretend play is so fun!
They can be used to retell stories, which develops reading comprehension and memorization. Using felt pieces to retell stories gives children a visual reminder of what they heard. They can put the images in order and be reminded of what happened. If they struggle with retelling, it’s likely they didn’t understand the story so they can’t remember what happened. This is a good cue for rereading the story and trying again.
Felt boards are wonderful for independent play. When you need to get dinner made or get some work done, a felt board will keep your child occupied. Independent play is just as important as group play. It develops creativity. Children need time and space to explore their materials and the world around them. They don’t need to be constantly occupied by us. That’s great news, right?
Storytelling with a felt board definitely helps to develop language skills, like listening, speaking, and vocabulary. Exposure to new words and phrases increases learning and understanding, so in the future, if the words or phrase is heard again the child will be able to decipher the meaning.
Academic skills, such as counting, color recognition, letter recognition, matching, and sorting, can all be introduced and practiced using a felt board. What a fun way to practice necessary skills! There are many other skills that can be practiced using a felt board, but these were in the front of my mind after leaving my preschool classroom today.
The Benefits are Great!
As you can see, there is a whole host of benefits to giving your child a felt board. The best part about a felt board is that they are easy to make and the materials don’t cost much. They can also be used over and over with different stories, themes, skills, etc. You can truly tailor a felt board to exactly what your child needs right now. I created a felt board for our daughter and even though she is a little young for it, she enjoys sticking the pieces onto the board. I’m excited to make new pieces for her to play with because I definitely LOVE the benefits that playing with these simple boards have.
If you are looking for an easy way to create a felt board, you can read THIS post with a simple step-by-step guide. It really is an easy project. For some great felt board activities, check out this roundup post of LOTS of different felt board activities you can do with your kiddo because sometimes we just need a list of ideas. I’d love to see what you come up with! Please feel free to share!