Watch the magic unfold — when you turn Story Time into an immersive early learning experience. A felt story board (a.k.a. flannel board) is your magic potion.
Stick with me — you’ll be a circle time maven in no time.
Professional educators often make their own felt board for storytelling — but if you’re a parent without the time (and/or toddler crafts experience) — don’t let that stop you.
Pick up a play-ready flannel board dispatched to your doorstep — becoming a storytelling mommy or daddy is a piece of cake!
To curate your best felt story board — these are the essential things to know and decisions to make.
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Felt Story Board vs Flannel Story Board: What’s the difference?
These two terms mean the same thing, and can be used interchangeably.
describe type of board used in early childhood education, particularly for storytelling during circle time. They’re are most commonly made of felt, so that young children can easily attach precut shape and figurines to the board.
Yep, it’s a matter of how you like to say it — like the word “potato”.
Wall Play vs Travel Play vs Tabletop Play: Which is right for you?
Wall-hanging felt story boards are toddler-height felt boards meant to hang indoors on the wall. Popular in preschools, daycares, and at-home play rooms — the large surface creates a life-sized interactive surface for young learners to explore.
Most large felt story boards for the wall include a set of precut pieces already — but the real magic begins when you start buying shape and figurine sets to supplement your collection — and tell different stories to your kids!
Travel felt story boards are notebook-sized felt boards — with velcro pieces that pack away neatly for convenience during in transit.
You typically just use the velcro pieces included in the set — instead of purchasing velcro piece sets separately.
Tabletop felt story boards are game-board sized — a simple felt mat for tabletop or floor play. Like the travel board, except not made for travel. (Hint — here is your low-cost option!)
Best Large Felt Boards for Hanging on the Wall
Perfect for classrooms and children’s rooms alike, wall hanging felt boards are larger, more interactive, more imaginative — good choice!
Watink Wall Hanging Felt Board Story Set (3.5 Foot)
For a giant-sized felt board — this is one of the most popular Watink felt board brands.
Best-selling themes include Outer Space, Farm Animals, Tangram Shapes, and Fruit-and-Veggie Food Groups.
Weighing under 10 ounces, 4 hooks included, and 4 rivet holes on each corner — the board is easily hung. If you need a replacement, any simple adhesive hook you can buy anywhere will do.
Each story set includes 30 to 60 velcro-backed felt figures to match the story.
Crafstory Felt Story Board Set (3.5 Foot)
Crafstory is comparable to Watink in terms of size, quality, materials, price, and most specifications. The reason why you’d pick Craftstory over Watink — again — comes down to preference.
Which play-along story theme appeals to your kids most?
Best-sellers include Under The Sea, Zoo Animals, and Insects.
For you homeschoolers and childcare professionals in the building, the Alphabet & Numbers Classroom Felt Board is a no-brainer!
Chefan Felt Play Board with Felt Figures (3.0 Foot)
By now it’s safe to say that store-bought toddler felt boards are typically made overseas by Factory Brands. Chefan — like Watink and Craftstory — is another Factory Brand.
As such, Chefan’s claim to fame is their outstanding Camping-themed Felt Board, with 40 felt board pieces to recreate classic camping stories.
Best Figurines for Felt Story Board
For ease-of-use out-of-the-box, you can buy precut story board figurines (felt or laminated paper) in every style imaginable.
What’s a familiar story your kids will love? What are you trying to teach your child at home? Is there a specific story you’d like to tell?
By buying pre-made felt board shapes, characters, and objects — you’ll skip all the DIY’ing — and jump straight to the interactive story time.
Little Folk Visuals Precut Felt Board Figures
The king of kings and queen of queens — Little Folk Visuals is my top pick.
With the most extensive variety of flannel board figures, there’s no age group or learning objective you can’t achieve.
Here’s just a small sample of what you can expect: Children’s Songs, Nursery Rhymes, Fairy Tails, Alphabet, Literacy, Numbers, Math, Science, Nutrition, Social Studies — OK, you get the picture!
Where else to buy Flannel Board Story Sets
Little Folk Visuals is my best-in-class recommendation — but felt board story sets really comes down to preference.
You’ll know when you see it — a theme your kiddo loves like Space Exploration and Wild Animals; or a learning opportunity like ABCs and 123s.
Take a peak at some other storytelling sets for felt boards from these sellers (also recommended):
- Kidmunication on Etsy is a teacher and homeschooler’s paradise for felt story sets.
- My Felt Story on Amazon on Etsy is America’s best-selling felt board dress-up set.
- Sailer And The Feltsy on Etsy offers cartoon style art and covers all the most popular felt story themes toddlers enjoy (shapes, colors, vehicles, weather, you name it).
- Storytelling Fun on Etsy offers realistic style art, which strict Montessorians may prefer.
Best Small Felt Boards for Travel & Tabletop Play
Does handheld or tabletop sound more like your size? For the jetset family, or urban apartment dweller this is your VIP felt board zone!
Craftstory Travel Felt Board For Toddlers
Top stories types include On The Farm, Sea Creatures, Alien Planets, and Scurvy Pirates.
Travel-ready — it’s foldable like a board book with convenient carry-along handles, to make sure the felt pieces don’t get lost in transit.
Alternatively, you can grab a good bargain with Craftstory’s Tabletop Felt Board 3-Pack — which affords you 3 unique play sets (Farm, Dinosaur, and Arctic).
Chefan Preschool Activities Foldable Felt Board
This is the best toddler travel felt board for families who rock out to Nursery rhymes!
Five Little Ducks, Five Little Speckled Frogs, 5 Little Monkeys Swinging In A Tree, 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed. Plus, separate pockets to store characters.
To be honest, these aren’t my favorite kid songs — but it’s nice to have that out-of-the-box convenience — and I will sing along with a big smile!
Esjay Sensory Briefcase
Esjay brand’s toddler briefcase comes with a complete set of ABC letters — so the most compact and take-along friendly felt alphabet and numbers board.
You can stick the hook and loop letter pieces on the outside of the briefcase — a highly engaging way to practice reading and counting. You can arrange and rearrange felt letters on the surface of the briefcase.
A to Z and 1 to 10 is just the beginning.
Equipped with over 14 busy board style fidgets — all types of buckles and buttons, zippers and snaps to suit
All that easily folds up (briefcase style) for a great an on-the-go felt learning toy.
If velcro is your thing, I review the best baby and toddler velcro boards where you can learn more.
(Runners up to consider include — Flannel Board Fun on Etsy, which is a handmade options that comes lets you pick from different story figure sets when you checkout; and Faber-Castell on Amazon, which is a budget friendly felt board and shapes set back-to-basics style.)