By Amanda Formaro, Special to Tribune Newspapers
January 9, 2013
As the months pass, so do the weather and natural surroundings. Days get longer, flowers bloom, then leaves fall. Children love to learn through play, so using a homemade felt board is a great way to explore and explain.
Any kind of scene can be created, but the seasons offer a fun way to learn about the natural world, even for kids who live where there is, say, no ocean or snow or desert.
Because felt attaches to itself temporarily, children can place pieces onto the craft board; just be sure the board is resting on a stable, flat surface. Smaller items can be glued together, of course, to create a finished tree or flower.
When the kids are finished "painting" with the felt, store the felt pieces in separate zipper sandwich bags by color or season.
•8-by-10-inch piece of sturdy cardboard (such as the back of a writing pad, side of a cereal box, etc.)
•White craft glue
•Full sheets of felt in light blue, green, white
•1/2 sheet brown felt
•Assorted colors and pieces of felt (scrap pieces work great)
1. Cover the cardboard with white glue; smooth it out with your fingers. Wash your hands, then attach the light blue felt to the cardboard, trimming any excess. This is the background sky.
2. Cut the sheets of green and white felt in half, and from that half cut your landscape: grass for a warm scene, snow for a wintry one. Do not glue the land to the board, so you can swap it out as needed.
3. Cut a tree from the brown felt. A simple trunk with several branches will work perfectly; if you prefer, say, a palm or fir tree, you'll need to add green fronds or branches. Glue only the branches to the board, leaving the trunk of the tree loose so you can lift it to change your background land when you want to change the season.
4. Use different colors to cut seasonal shapes from felt. Some suggestions:
White: clouds, flowers, snow, snowflakes
Dark blue: flowers, ocean, lakes
Gray: raindrops, mountains
Green (light or dark): flower stems, leaves, palm fronds, cacti
Red: apples, flowers
Yellow: sun, flowers
Amanda Formaro is a professional crafter; find more projects at her website,craftsbyamanda.com.