Parent Made Developmental Toys: Integrating Parenting, Self-Esteem, Literacy & Fun
Flannel Board Box Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses
And all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Flannel Board Materials List

Make a template of the size of the box for the felt to minimize waste of the material when it is cut by parents. Encourage the parents to decorate the outside with their children AND make new stories with them. Home visitors can also carry on the activity; to build up a library of flannel board stories is the goal.

Flannel Board Box
Make a pizza box into a story box that's portable.

1. Cover the outside of the pizza box with your children. Use:

2. Cut 1 piece of felt to fit the inside bottom and top of the box.
Glue the felt in place with a thin film of white glue. Use a popsicle stick to spread the film of glue.
Sign your box and put the date in one corner.

3. Make cut outs for a story, poem or nursery rhyme.
Put them in a zip lock bag for storage.

4. Practice your story to share with your children.
Humpty Dumpty
5. Make other stories. List some ideas under each idea starter.

List Nursery Rhymes that you know and that you could make cut outs for.
The ideas is to list a nursery rhyme that they have memorized. Then they will "read" it very smoothly. Rhymes often have repetition and cadence. They free the parent from having to make up stories. They also pass down an oral tradition of certain rhymes.

Adding print to your stories: Write down the story or poem to go with your characters. Read it and point to the words as your child puts up the characters. Use the computer at school to make a poem in big print.
The print ties reading into the activity. It is like a "big book."

Alphabet games: Make the letters of your child's name. Make a story around them. Your child can "write" the letters by feeling their shape with two fingers (prehensile grasp like a child uses for writing).
Make large 3" capital letters to feel. The story could be about "Sis for…A is for…"or another could be "S and A were friends' they went to visit R; on the way there…" Prehensile grasp is the pencil holding grasp and if a child feels the letter with 2 fingers extended, it is prep for writing as those 2 fingers guide the pencil movement. It all helps to shape the child's awareness of letters.

To make picture characters: Cut out a picture from a magazine. Glue it on a piece of felt. Use a thin film of white glue. Use on your flannel board to tell a story.
This way parents can make original stories without drawing skills. They could even make homework into flannel board activities and make it fun in the process. They can glue anything on the felt.

Make your child's story come alive. Write it down, make the characters and then retell it back to your child. He/she will be amazed!
A child who makes up a story has power…to produce something original and to remember it for the retelling. Since young children don't yet understand that writing (and picture writing as the flannel board is) is a form of permanent, historical record, then through this they can learn about writing as a new form of communication.
The child's story as simple as it may be is the child's experience. It is based in experience and we can study it to see what the child knows.

Tell a Real Story. Make characters for something that really happened.
1. It could be something your child did. It doesn't even need to be special; it could be a trip to the store. It could be a field trip. Or it could be very special like an award or a vacation.
2. Tell a real story about someone in the family. It could be about a grandmother-- her trip as a young girl to live in a new city. It could be a way to teach about your cultural history. It could be about your religion.

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