A month or so ago I made a flannel board for J and started making a collection of flannel pieces that he could manipulate and play creatively with. If my experiences presenting storytimes taught me anything, it's that kids FREAK about flannel stories. They are just drawn to them and you can see in their little faces how hard they are trying to stay seated and resist yanking all the pieces off the board. (But, of course, that inevitably happens sometimes, too.)
Well, true to my experiences, J is really taken by the flannel board. (And Daddy and I are too!) We had a few friends over last week for a playdate, and all the kids (from 1 1/2 to 5) were very interested in it. This winter I am hoping to make a lot more pieces. So far, we've basically just got a starter set of a few animals, a tree, a sun, and a moon.
The flannel board is a 20 x 24 artist's canvas that I covered in brown flannel with spray adhesive and some upholstery staples. Once we borrow my dad's masonry drill bits we'll mount it to the wall in the playroom. Easy peasy.
I chose the canvas as the backing because I found one really cheap. I also considered using heavy cardboard, foam-core board, or even a piece of mdf. (Although, for the latter, I probably would have covered it in some batting before stretching the flannel over it.)