If you’re looking for a fun fall activity for your kids, here’s another good one that’s pretty cheap and easy. I often take O to storytime at our local library (unfortunately it’s the giant main branch of the Chicago Public Library which is huge and hard to navigate, I miss the cute little library in my hometown!) Anyway, the librarians use Felt Boards a lot to do nursery rhymes and little poems during storytime. Theirs is big easel covered in felt and then they have felt shapes and pictures that stick to the board just from the texture and friction of felt on felt. I had forgotten that felt boards even existed but the minute the librarian got it out and started sticking felt shapes to it I had a total flash back/deja vu moment to kindergarten. It’s so weird how that kind of thing can come back to you out of nowhere!
Anyway, one weekend I whipped up a little Apple Tree Felt Board for O and his friends to play with at an apple themed play date. It was easy and cheap and the kids liked it a lot. It’s great for counting and talking about colors while you “pick apples”. Or if you’re O, you can spend 20 minutes putting all the apples to “bed” in the tree while singing an incredibly adorable song entitled, “Sleep Tight Little Apple.”
All I did was sketch the shape and then use an exacto knife to cut it out of regular old white foam board from the craft store. Then I covered it with plain craft felt! That’s it! And no, it’s not wonderful lovely real wool felt, it’s the cheap 20 cents a sheet stuff from Michael’s. I hope you know by now that I firmly adhere to the rule that stuff I make for kids should never be too precious to use. There’d be nothing worse than spending a ton of time and money on something like this and then have it be destroyed (or even worse, have it be unloved!)
If you read my post about freezer paper stenciling, I said nothing dulls an exacto blade faster than paper. I totally lied. Nothing dulls an exacto blade faster than foam. So if you want nice clean edges on your felt board, start with a new blade and change it if the edges get at all ragged.
Anyway, once I had the tree covered in felt, I made some cute little apples. All I did was cut the shape out of felt and add the stem with hot glue. Hot glue (despite the annoying strings) works great with this kind of felt ( I think the felt is made from recycled plastic).
And then, of course, I thought the tree needed a few happy little friends (anyone else a Bob Ross fan?)
First a cute little bluebird:
A wise old owl:
And last but not least, a frisky little squirrel with his acorn: