Standard Unit Blocks—out of felt!

I’m taking a partial maternity leave from this blog as we we recently welcomed a sweet baby boy into our home. So today I am happy to be sharing a guest post from my sister-in-law Tiffany.

Nurture Mama has shared some great activity ideas with felt. I’ve enjoyed doing some of them with my children. In fact, one of my older daughters made felt food for her younger sisters for a Christmas gift. For a guest Nurture Mama post I wanted to share something fun and simple I made with felt years ago.

One of my favorite childhood toys was a set of wooden building blocks. I’ve since learned they’re called standard unit blocks because they are uniform sizes–one rectangle block is the same size as two square blocks and so on. We played with those blocks in endless creative ways.

Many years ago—for a little something fun I decided to create felt building blocks. My little girls could use them for two dimensional play on a flannel board. Younger children have fun putting the different shapes and colors on the board and comparing and matching. Older children will build elaborate houses and patterns.
Felt Building Blocks are simple to make. I think all those years ago I cut them out with scissors, but with a cutting mat and a rotary cutter they would be simple to make in very little time. There are a few standard shapes you want to have in your felt block set.

Rectangle: 4 inches by 2 inches
Tall rectangle: 4 inches by 1 inch (half of a regular rectangle)
Square: 2 inches by 2 inches
Little rectangle: 2 inches by 1 inch
Triangle: cut a rectangle diagonally into two right triangles
Arched rectangle: cut a small half-circle out of one side of a rectangle
From colorful felt cut several strips 1 inch and 2 inches wide and then cut down to 2 and 4 inch lengths. So simple. Beyond these basics there is no limit to the sizes and shapes you can create!

Tips for making a flannel board
Several years ago we got two lovely flannel boards from my mother-in-law. So, I’m not an expert on flannel board making! But, as I look at the boards she made it shouldn’t be too difficult. To make your own board you will want a large piece of neutral colored felt, a sturdy board (heavy cardboard, foam core or masonite board), spray adhesive, and some strong, wide tape. Decide how big you want the finished flannel board and cut the board to size. Cut the felt 2 inches larger on all sides than the board. Spray the felt with spray adhesive and smooth it on the board. Tuck the felt to the back and miter the corners (clip a section from each corner) so it will lay flat. Secure the felt to the back with tape. The boards I have are about the size of a poster board—you could also make a small individual size board.

Here is another online tutorial for making a flannel board.

Tiffany’s greatest joys in life come from her family and her faith. She lives with her dear husband and 6 cute kids in Texas. She loves to read, bake, and stay in touch with family. She tries to find and focus on the joy in the journey and blogs about it at This Journey: with joy wend your way.

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