Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Making a Flannel Board Calendar

I love the calendar that Ben's mom uses to chart their monthly events and milestones. I thought I'd take a shot at creating a calendar using flannel board technology, though I wasn't as ambitious and only created a week-long calendar.

Being completely useless in all spheres which include Martha Stewart or a sewing machine (I would honestly just hurt myself), I found instructions for making a flannel board which involved only flannel, a bulletin board, and a butter knife. Considering that butter knives are fairly dull, I calculated my risk of self-injury as almost nil. I ran to Wal-Mart (hey, they have cheap diapers and it was an excuse to get out of the house) and found a nice lady in their sewing department who could point me to flannel and felt.

All you have to do is get a sheet of flannel slightly larger than the rim of the bulletin board. Then you use the butter knife to gently prod the excess under the frame. The only slightly difficult part of this whole process is using scissors to closely trim the excess, then shoving that extra material under the rim.

I was going to take pictures of the process, but the camera battery died. So all you get is the before and after. The "after" isn't really set up properly in the picture below- I am going to arrange the days of the week in a more orderly fashion. I made several felt pieces that currently have wet puffy-paint on them, so they are all drying in a helter-skelter pattern on the board. Hopefully they'll be dry by tomorrow.

The felt shapes cling quite nicely to the flannel. I made a little felt star shape that we can move to the appropriate day of the week. I also made some holiday shapes, but I will need to make more of these.

Actually, now I'm hyped up on flannel boards. I found a website where the mother (who is far more creative than I'll ever be) made tiny ones for use in the car. With little cut-out story figures and scenes. This was really very easy to create, and there are felt figures you can purchase online if you aren't feeling crafty with the puffy paint.

Abstract concepts are more difficult for kids with hearing loss to understand, so a calendar helps reinforce concepts like today/yesterday/tomorrow and sequencing of events. I challenge all of you to come up with your own calendar!

9 comments:

-Cam said...

I like it!

Holly said...

I am so jealous. so awesomely creative.

leah said...

I was feeling very proud of myself until Nolan came up and looked at the felt lion (that says "zoo") and said, "Oh, BEAR!" Obviously, my artistic talent is lacking, lol!

Ericka said...

OMG! I am SO doing this! What a great idea! Thanks Leah!
I think I will make felt shapes that correspond to stories that we read! That might keep Miles attention for more than 2 seconds.

tammy said...

Yay you! Dang you're quick! I had to tell my husband last night that I need a few hours on Sunday TO MYSELF so I can get something together! But then I will poke and prod and research and why does it always have to take me so long to do the simplest of things?!? I love yours! and I may copy it just a bit! :)

Julia said...

Oh, that's soooo cool! And now you've got me thinking about flannel board ideas. My mother always used them a lot in her classroom. Letters, numbers, shapes, articles of clothing, weather icons. Another alternative to puffy paint might be to glue felt to the back of pictures that you print out -- imagine having pictures of all the friends and relatives! (Although I wonder how well the felt would stick to the flannel after being glued....)

leah said...

Actually, I read about an idea using print-outs, and apparently they work quite well. You print out the picture, laminate it with clear contact paper, then glue strips of felt to the back of the picture. I'm quite hyped up on this idea for purposes other than charting calendar days, lol!

rouchi said...

Hey it looks professional!!Very cute and creatively done and i am sure it was a quater of the price of a ready made one.

Bright Family said...

This is great! They have really inexpensive felt board stuff on ebay...or did a couple years ago when Tayten was first activated.

We use the weekly calendar from The Listening Room and use it daily. We talk about today, tomorrow, and yesterday. I have printed, cut, laminated and attached little pieces of velcro to the banner and pictures. I just stick all the extra in an envelope hanging right next it. It's hanging right outside his room in the hall. Perfect for after bath, before bed and it is the first thing we see in the morning. I started using it so Tayten would know when is Dad would be home, but we also post the days he has school, therapy, or both. I will have to take a picture and post one day...

Sorry for the EXTREMELY long comment!