If you’ve decided to try using a flannel board with your little ones, it’s easy to make materials to use on it. You can duplicate and laminate any printable item you already have. (The only problem with this is you can’t stick an item on top of another item.) Here are a few ways to make the images stick to the flannel board:
- Add a small piece of the sticky side of a hook and loop strip to laminated items. You can buy rolls of sticky back dots, or strips. I use the strips, because I can cut off as much as I need for each piece (it doesn’t take much. I usually use about 1/2 inch, a little bit more on unusually large pieces.)
- Print your printables off on canvas—the rough back sticks well to flannel. I use Avery 3277 Ink Jet Textured Canvas (be sure to print on the correct side). Here are some links where it’s still available: Creative Kits and Papers, and here’s another brand at Adorama (I often buy things from them and they’ve been great). I also found it at Office Depot–10 sheets for $14.99 (11.2.12) I love the stuff!
- Glue some sand paper on the back of your laminated items.
- If you have a parent volunteer who likes to make things, you can give her a paper copy of the items you want, along with a piece of interfacing fabric (get the heavy kind, but be sure you can see through it a little). Lay the interfacing on top of the item, trace it, and then color it with permanent ink pens. Cut them out and they’re ready to go. The ones I made this way lasted for years, and they stick very well to flannel boards. They are also nice and stiff.
- Felt pieces are the best materials to use on flannel boards. You can buy 9X12 inch sheets of felt at discount and fabric stores. Cut the felt into shapes and glue or sew the pieces together. More on making your own felt pieces on another post.
Here are some websites I’ve found that have good ideas for making your own flannel board props:
How to Make Flannel Board Characters
NJ Children’s Librarian’s Tool Kit: Making Flannel Board Props
The Felt Source
Felt Board Templates
I hope these websites will give you some exciting ideas to get you going!
You can also buy ready-made flannel board props. I’ll be adding some to the freebies on my website, soon. I’ll let you know when I put a new item on there.
Where do you get the best flannel board props?