Making a felt board to teach the seasons, weather and even holidays to children is easier than you might think, and can even count as whimsical wall art! This also comes with a free printable template for all the shapes AND a coloring page for each season to place above the board!
This is a great interactive and sensory way to teach toddlers and preschoolers the different times of the year, about how things change and holidays are celebrated. I think it can be a fun holiday tradition as you add new elements for each holiday. It can also just be another toy as they can take all of the pieces off and make their own scene. I’ve been following the Montessori method for teaching my children at home and I just love it because it’s all about learning with the senses, and especially the hands. Maria Montessori observed that children learn best with their hands, and it is an especially effective tool when teaching abstract concepts like reading, math, and changing seasons.
How to Make Your Seasons and Weather Board
- 1 large bulletin board
- 1/2 yard of light blue felt (for sky)
- 1/4 yard of brown felt (for tree)
- Sheets of felt in various colors (around 40 cents at Walmart and craft stores) – think flowers, pumpkins, snow, leaves, greenery. Colors I suggest are:
— light or bright green
— hunter green
— 2 sheets of white (clouds and snow)
- Sharp scissors
- Small piece of chalk to draw on your felt using my free printable template (unless you want to free-hand everything)
Directions and More Ideas
I free-handed all of the items and made a very lucky find with the fall leaves – they were at the dollar store!
Get your free printable template here for the shapes for the board!
- Cut the blue felt the same size as your bulletin board and staple on
- Cut out the tree – I free-handed this and it’s so big that it wouldn’t even fit on 4 sheets of paper to use as a printable. So, I hope you can draw something similar, or just do something really simple if you have trouble.
- Mounds of snow for the ground
- Icicles and snow for the tree
- Snowflakes or snow balls for the sky
- Other ideas: Add a Christmas tree for Christmas, a sled
- Valentine’s Day – add a heart garland to decorate the tree
- Saint Patrick’s Day – add a rainbow, four-leaf clovers on the ground, and a pot of gold
- Greenery for the tree
- Tiny flowers or just dots to use as flowers on the tree
- Flowers for the ground
- Birds to the tree and a birdhouse
- Easter – add eggs to the ground or even an Easter bunny
- Use the greenery from spring
- Add a hot air balloon to the sky
- Add a bumble bee or a caterpillar
- Switch out the flowers for apples
- Add a swing to the tree
- July 4th (American Independence Day) – add an American flag (on a pole standing in the ground)
- Autumn leaves
- Add pumpkins to the ground
- Halloween: add a scarecrow, bats to the sky or hanging from the trees, spiders
- Thanksgiving: Add a turkey (can trace your child’s hand)
- Lightning and dark grey clouds
- Remove the sun on a cloudy day
As you can see, I haven’t gotten to winter and spring yet so as we get to those seasons, I will add more pictures. The shapes for all the seasons are in the template, however, so you can start with whichever season you’re in now and make the rest later, too! Otherwise, you’ll be cutting for hours!
Use in Circle Time and Free Play
I love using this in our morning circle time – we look out the window and make our board look like the weather outside. We talk about the season we’re in and the holiday we’re celebrating or approaching. Then, I let them play with it however they want, which means the seasons get all mixed up and it no longer looks like a perfect Pinterest image. But that’s okay! They are still learning and play is how children learn, so it’s not important to me that it looks perfect. Gabriel likes to pretend the leaves are falling of the tree and makes them fall to the ground, but his favorite part is the lightning which he makes to crash around the sky.
Storage of All the Pieces
I keep the pieces from the current season in a basket beside the board (I picked up one at the dollar store). There are just so many pieces that it will become quite messy and overwhelming for your child if all of them are left out all of the time. If you do it Montessori style, keep the baskets on your shelves and let them choose, cleaning up the board when they are done and want to get another basket.
I’ve also created free printable coloring pages for each season that your child can color and tape above the board on the wall. If you have more than one, then put them all up! The children will have even more pride in their board with their own artwork above it.
Most of all, remember to just have fun with it. Make it as complicated or simple as you want and enjoy the special moments with your children.
This post is linking up at Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now.