Saturday, March 22, 2008

Flannelboards for Learning

Aidan loves his flannelboard, and even his older siblings get interested when I bring out a new set. I bought a collection of flannelboard kits from The Felt Source before Christmas, and I bring out new ones at intervals.

Aidan is developmentally delayed and learns MUCH better with a manipulative he can touch and feel and see, and the felt is quite satisfying tactically, more so in some ways than say plastic, or painted wood, or cardboard, though we use those things, too.

I just brought out the solar system set, which has been a hit.

He likes to name the planets -- Jupiter and Saturn and Neptune are his favorites, because they have rings around them. My 6th grader was pleased to see the graphics for the eclipse because he had been asking questions about them recently.

Over here there are instructions for making your own flannelboard and felt sets.

One thing that's easy to do is to back cardstock flashcards with felt so that they stick to the flannelboard. .... instance, the nomenclature cards at Montessori Materials.

Also, you can find various templates for making felt board sets on the Internet.

I like the realistic-type picture sets from the Felt Source because they are not twaddly. So many educational visuals for children are just plain silly, with cartoon-y pictures. For example, Aidan's speech therapist is often a bit embarrassed by the silly ambiguity of the learning games and tools that are sold as tools for speech therapists. Aidan generally is bored with that kind of thing, too, and I think most children are unless they are TAUGHT to endure them. But that may be one reason why so many kids just turn off on some "educational" things -- they outgrow the twaddle and outgrow the learning along with it. Anyway, I am always on the hunt for realistic visuals for kids.

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