Sunday, February 14, 2016

Flannel Stories

I remember as a child spending many blissful hours creating stories with some felt pieces I received as a present. There is nothing more satisfying than feeling like you have created an imaginary universe that is under your control. This is the essence of play.  I think I should strive to ignite imagination in these little folks I am privileged to work with.

A few years ago at an educational session, I had the pleasure to meet Mary Hays. She is a local storyteller who uses flannel stories, songs, props, books, and her own dramatic flare to keep the spirit of folktales alive and well for this generation's children. Click HERE to go to her website. I have been thinking I would like children to know the stories I've learned. Many children these days do not know fairy tales, nursery rhymes, fables and simple folk songs.

 It's taken me a little while, but I am in the process of compiling some resources and am about to try some flannel stories on the little ones I assist.

If you would like to try this, here is what you need:

First you need a flannel board. Now don't think if you don't have one then that's, that! You can make one very easily.  Here is a link to Deborah's site (click on her name). She made flannel boards with canvas frames. And Alison made one out of a magnetic board -- dual purpose! And Jen made one from a picture frame -- so cool!

I made one using a foam board. I wanted to have a lot of room to tell a story, but I also need to be able to put it into Ms. Bev's Big Black Bag.  The entire surface is 20" x 16". I took an X-Acto knife and made a cut all the way down the middle WITHOUT going completely through the board. In this way it can be folded for transport. I bought a large piece of light blue flannel and attached it to the board with glue, then added some masking tape to the edges on the back.

Here is a photo of the front:

And here is how it looks at the back:

UPDATE: I decided to add two full 8-1/2" x 11" magnetic sheets to the back. I then replaced the masking tape with that fabulous patterned duck tape you can buy to border each magnetic sheet. I made sure not to go over the fold area. Now I can do some magnet-based stories too. Instead of adding velcro or felt to the back of the story images, just add magnetic strips!

There are lots of ways to make the story pieces, if you can't afford to purchase pre-made felt stories. What I am doing is looking on the internet and also creating some of my own packages using my Printmaster Gold program.

The first project I will share with you is an Aesop's Fable called The Lion and the Mouse. I have retold the fable in my own words and created the images from my Printmaster Gold program. You may use this version for personal use with the children you love.

Here is the next step: Print the pages off, cut out each image, and glue them to pieces of cardstock (heavier weight paper of any kind). If you don't have a colour printer, then you can print the black & white images and colour them.  For the net, I used the X-Acto knife to cut out squares between the rope. In this way when the net is over the lion, you can see the lion behind it. Next, you can laminate each piece so they last longer. Then on the back use some felt or or a piece of velcro. In this way they will stick to your board. That's it!

If you have any questions, please let me know. This site is very new and I hope it will become a super resource for you as well as me.

Thanks for stopping by where Play Has Meaning.

Ms. Bev

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