DIY Felt Board

The last few weeks have gone by in a blur.

Atticus has been fighting naps and Ainsley’s schedule has been all over the place since she hit 7 months. The elder has also been increasingly jealous of my time with Ainsley, behaving badly as an expression of his displeasure whenever she’s around (otherwise he is such a sweetheart!). To top it off, the whole family has been hit by varying severities of the flu bug over the long weekend, which incidentally was the weekend before I officially returned to work.

With so much going on and so little time to do anything I needed to occupy Atticus, especially since he’s been cooped up at home. Finally motivated by the fact that I will have less time once I go back to work, I got down to making the felt board activity that’s been on my To-Do list for the longest time.

It’s so easy to put together and the possibilities with felt thereafter are quite endless, circumscribed only by your child’s interests and attention span I reckon. You can cut out any shape or size felt that you want your child to play with or you can save time by buying pre-cut felt pieces (cf. colourful cars in the picture below). Alternatively, if you already have any board pieces or hard stickers that have lost their adhesiveness, simply paste Velcro on the back and instantly revive their use on the felt board. That’s what I did with a pack of raised vehicle stickers that could no longer stick on the wall after Atticus repeatedly shifted them around.

The materials needed for the felt board are:

  • 20″ x 20″ canvas board
  • 1m x 1m felt (or just large enough to form a border around the canvas board
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Ruler (optional, depending on how neat you want to be – I gave it up given time constraints)

If you don’t intend to use Velcro and will rely only on static action to hold your felt (or any other material) pieces up, my research online indicates you can buy flannel instead of felt. Whereas felt would be able to cater to both, which was what I went for. Based on my experimenting at the store, wool felt suffers the least damage from the velcro pull. It is also the most expensive option. Acrylic felt on the other hand is the cheapest but fluffs the most. A good in-between would be mottled felt. That is what I settled for finally.

With the materials, all you need to do is:

  1.  cut the felt such that it forms a border around the canvas board wide enough to be pulled to the back;
  2. staple along the edges of each side at the back, always ensuring that the felt is taut;
  3. fold in the corners neatly; and
  4. staple the corners down.

I was quite pleased with the results and the board has held up well under the destructive hands of a near-2 year old. Yes, his rambunctiousness did deign to try the felt board activity for all of 15 minutes during which he was quietly engaged. Success, I suppose? Until he gets a little older, I guess I will just enjoy how those pieces of felt will get moved around the board at his whim and fancy.


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