A certain little two year old in my life loves playing with magnets and stickers. He actually likes anything that can be put somewhere and feels great accomplishment after doing so. It may be keys in the trash can, phones placed on a random bookshelf, or batteries shoved into the VCR.
To provide a constructive outlet for his "putting" obsession, I created a flannelboard to give him at Christmas. It was super easy and I think he's going to love it.
To start with, head to a craft store. You'll need the following:
one art canvas - any size
flannel material - any color and large enough to cover the canvas with a little extra
rectangles of white felt - these are sold by the sheet and are usually around 9"x11"
printable iron-on transfer sheets.
(I got these at Walmart for much cheaper than at craft stores like Hobby Lobby. Craft stores had them 2 sheets for $10. I found them at Walmart 7 sheets for $10. I purchased the ones that are transfers for light fabric. If you choose to have darker felt pieces, then buy specific transfers for dark fabric.)
a staple gun
To begin, iron out your flannel to remove any wrinkles. Then carefully and tightly wrap the flannel around the front of the canvas. Secure it to the back of the canvas using the staple gun. You should end up with a tightly stretched flannel canvas. You can trim the excess flannel after the whole piece is secured well.
Next, use your computer to find images you'd like to use for your flannel board pieces. You could just use felt to create your own pieces, but I'm not artistic enough for that. Some people use fabric paint, googly eyes, and all sorts of fancy things to make the felt pieces. For me, printing the images from the computer was good enough! Once you've chosen the images you want, just print them onto your printable transfer sheets. **Be sure to read the directions carefully so that you are printing on the right side!**
And a word to the wise. Numbers and letters will iron on backwards from how they print. So be sure they are printed backwards in order to have them correctly ironed on to your felt.
Once you've printed out your images, simply follow the directions on your transfer sheet package to iron the images onto the felt. It is not recommended to iron on an ironing board. Instead use the kitchen counter top and simply place a pillow case between the counter and your felt.
Once the transfers are complete, cut carefully around the images and voila! You have yourself a flannel board and several felt pieces to go with it! You can even place the pieces in a cute little container to keep things organized.
The thing I love about this is that I can add to the pieces as my children's interests change. Right now, he loves all things that move and animals. So I made him a barn set, a fishing scene, and several emergency vehicles and personnel. However, I'm sure that in the next month or two I'll be adding an entire Thomas the Tank Engine set complete with a roundabout and track. I also think a set of food in a restaurant series would be pretty neat. The possibilities are endless!