Flannel Boxes

What to do:

Flannel board activities are very popular and effective in capturing the attention

of young children. Stories are told while figures and shapes are moved on the

board. The small flannel boxes can be used by individuals or small groups of

children. When children use flannel boxes to retell favorite stories they sound

like they are reading. Retelling is an important first step in development of


  1. Line the lid of the selected box with a solid piece of felt in a light neutral color such as white, beige, or tan. Glue securely.
  2. Pieces for stories can be traced on interfacing from books, magazines, or coloring books, or can be drawn freehand.
  3. Add color with felt-tip marker, embroidery pens, crayons, paints or colored markers. Get creative!
  4. There are many resources for story ideas. You should create flannel box story pieces for stories that are favorites in your class. Stories created by teachers are often particular favorites with children.

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After sharing the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? several
times with children, you might use a flannel board as a way of having them retell
the story.

  1. Use the patterns on the next page for the various animals in the book.
  2. Color the animals to match the book.
  3. Cut out the pieces.
  4. Have children tell the story in the book by placing the characters on the flannel box.
  5. Try the idea with other favorite books.