How to Use the Felt Board iPad App for Young Students

By Sam Gliksman

Did you ever play with felt boards when you were a kid? It’s a simple concept that is now accessible on the iPad. You get a large felt-covered board and then cut out large felt letters and images and place them on the board. Magically, friction holds it all together as you assemble your scene.

With the aid of the right apps, the iPad is a device with a thousand faces. Use the Felt Board app and it does an amazing job of mimicking that big old felt board you used as a kid. Play with different backgrounds, dress up characters, and add props to assemble your felt masterpiece.

When you’re done, save the image to your iPad Photo Library, where you can share it with others. Felt Board offers lots of opportunity for imaginative and visually creative play. It’s a wonderful educational tool and a whole lot of fun.

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You can come up with a variety of creative ways to use Felt Board. Here’s a short list to start you thinking:

  • Re-create stories: Read a book with kids and have them re-create scenes from the story in Felt Board.

  • Participate in storytelling: Ask them to make up and/or write a story, and then create the characters and scenes from the story in Felt Board. Try the opposite. Have them play with Felt Board to create a scene they like; then when they’re done, ask them to tell a story about the scene.

  • Narrate stories: Create scenes in Felt Board and save them to the iPad Photo Library. Open up a screencasting app, insert the photos, and have the students record themselves narrating the parts of the story that go along with each scene.

  • Create an e-book: Create scenes in Felt Board and save them to the iPad Photo Library. Open an e-book creation app such as Book Creator, insert the Felt Board scenes, and add the story. Typing can be difficult, so put on your thinking cap. Try handwriting the story, snapping a photo of it, and inserting an image of the handwritten text in the book.

  • Visualize: Have students place and arrange objects by color. Ask them to count and place different numbers of objects on their board. Use Felt Board to connect objects with a letter or to do simple arithmetic operations.

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To use the app, just follow these steps:

  1. Select a background.

    Tap the chevron icon attached to the panel on the left of the Felt Board display. The panel slides out to show thumbnails of the different libraries of objects you can insert on your board. The very first icon represents backgrounds. Slide through the thumbnails and tap to select a background.

  2. Browse through the libraries of objects and tap to select items you want on your board.

    Items drop right on to your board; you can move them around as needed. Expand or contract with two fingers to make items larger or smaller and twist an object with two fingers to rotate it.

  3. Insert characters and add elements such as hair, facial features, and clothing.

    All the objects are scaled to fit exactly on your characters. Don’t you wish it was that easy when you shopped for clothes? When you add elements to a character, they automatically attach and move with it. Tap the object once to unlock and reposition it.

  4. To delete items, tap the Recycle icon on the bottom right.

    All the objects begin to wiggle, and you can tap on any object to delete it. When you’re done deleting, tap the Recycle icon again.

  5. Tap the Camera icon to save your scene to the iPad Photo Library.

    Once it’s there, you can share it or use the image in other apps.

  6. Save to the Felt Board Gallery by tapping the Gallery icon on the right (it’s the one that looks like four small photos).

    The scene is saved to your Gallery for later use and editing. Tap the Gallery icon at any time to open a project from the Gallery, or start a new one by pressing the + icon in the Gallery.