What is a flannel board or a storyboard? It is an invaluable and versatile educational tool for teachers and preschool children. The storyboard has become an integral part of the preschool curriculum. It’s basically a story board covered with a flannel or felt material that teachers can use with preschoolers to tell visual stories with pictures, storyboard shapes, and a variety of other manipulatives that are made from flannel or cutouts ( sticks from flannel to flannel). Flannel tops can come in a variety of sizes and can be mounted to a wall or have a smaller tabletop style with an easel that folds easily for storage.
The tabletop style is ideal for small groups of children and encourages more participation and interaction and can be easily stored. The larger wall mount style is more permanent and best for large groups, such as in a classroom. Flannel boards or storyboards can be purchased commercially, but it’s very easy to make your own. Some of the commercially purchased whiteboards have a magnetic side on the reverse for use with magnetic manipulators and some may have whiteboards on the reverse.
Retelling stories is an important skill for developing language and memory with preschoolers. Pre-literacy is important and even young children will benefit from listening and watching while older children play. Younger children always learn by observing and modeling older children. Most preschool settings have a multi-age population and age overlaps for various groups, as do most families.
Encouraging a child to retell a story or number sequence or identify colors and shapes is a great independent and fun couple activity. Retelling reinforces learning and abstract concepts. Preschoolers will lean towards this anyway if the materials are left on the board for their use. They will also make up their own creative stories using the flannel board shapes in a free play environment. Children enjoy touching and feeling the gentle manipulative shapes.
For parents, playing with the flannel board is a great independent activity for quiet times, like waiting at the doctor’s office, long car rides, or just before bedtime or nap time. Flannel boards are fun for rainy days too. indoor activities for kids. Teachers love to use them for everything from storytelling; abc games for kids, themed lesson plans to teach songs, rhymes and finger games.
Flannel board games are colorful, soft felt cutouts of shapes, alphabet letters (upper and lower case), colors, numbers, or story characters, and accessories. You can find commercial games for fairy tales, children’s songs, popular literature, safety lessons, maps, stations, calendars, animals (zoo, jungle, farm, pets, etc.), special parties, dinosaurs, multicultural ideas, Bible. characters, games, transportation and many more early childhood themes. They can be purchased pre-cut or teachers and caregivers on a budget can make their own designs out of felt.
Flannel board activities are fun for families, preschools, Head Start centers, daycare providers, homeschool families, early childhood settings, school teachers Sunday school, special education classrooms, librarians, and school teachers in the lower elementary grades. Even upper grade teachers can find a good use for flannel charts to teach states or other geography, map, or math lessons. The utility is practically infinite.