Mini Felt Boards can be used in many ways in your preschool classroom!

I was recently asked by lots of folks to talk a little bit more about what I call “Lap Boards.”  So for those of you who asked or would like to know more, here are a few details…

Although I refer to my small boards as “Lap Boards,” I also change what I call them depending on what I am using them for. For example, sometimes I might call them a storyboard or sometimes a counting board. But essentially, no matter what I call them, they are simply small DIY felt boards…

I call them lap boards most of the time because we often use them on the floor when working on a process as a large group. The lap board goes on the child’s lap or on the floor in front of each child so that the children can have a sturdy, independent space to place objects on and to work on…

I like the lap boards for giving children a space to work on for several reasons, but probably my top reason is that my DIY lap boards are a quiet space to work on and they are soft so most things we are working with do not easily roll off the edges when the board get’s bumped or shifted around.

How to Make a Lap Board

I always keep at least 11 lap boards in my classroom. Ten of them are for the children to use and one of them is for me to use when I am working with the children on a specific process. I store the lap boards on a top shelf in my classroom to pull down as needed…

To make the lap boards you will need a set of small art paint canvases. My canvases are around 8″ x 10″ stretched canvas (stretched around a wood frame). I purchase my stretched canvases from places like Walmart or Michaels when I see them go on sale or being sold in a multi-pack for a good price…

You will also need a supply of white (or whatever color you would choose) flannel to staple around each canvas.  I bought two yards of white flannel and had some left over after covering 12 canvases…

To make the lap boards, you simply cut your flannel to fit firmly around the edges of each canvas and then stretch the flannel so that it sits nice and tight on across the front of the canvas. Then flip the canvas over and staple the edges of the flannel firmly to the board surrounding your canvas.  I use a staple gun to staple the flannel to my boards…

If you have too much excess flannel on the inside edges of the back of the canvas, then trim away the excess flannel so that the edges are neat and tidy looking…

Once the flannel is firmly covering and attached to your canvas, then you now have officially made a lap board…

Ways to Use a Lap Board

Storytelling

You can now use your lap boards during circle time to re-tell a story with felt pieces you have prepared. Instead of the teacher being the only one to tell a story or having to wait on each child to take a turn, the story board allows all the children to be involved in the storytelling process together…

Exploring Math Concepts

You can use your lap board in a center for children to count, sort, compare or explore a variety of materials in different ways. The material will not be so clanky in the classroom as they are on a soft surface rather than a hard table or tray…

Individual or Group Activities

You can use your lap board at a table or on the floor for children to have an individual space to explore whatever type of process you have in mind…

I have had six of my DIY lap boards for three years without a problem of them being ripped, broken, or ruined in some other way. But last year, I had them laying on the floor and the children stepped on them with muddy shoes which left nice little mud shoe prints on most of the boards that I couldn’t wash out. So this year, I added a few more boards to my collection of boards, took off the old felt off my older boards, and covered all 12 boards with new white felt so they all looked new again…

We introduced the lap boards to our students today for the first time this school year and will begin using them around the classroom as the year progresses. I hope I have answered all the questions, but if you have a comment or question for me, feel free to leave me a comment below!

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