I don’t really know what to say for all of your prayers and thoughts for my sister-in-law. I sat in front of this computer last night feeling really overwhelmed at your kindness, and I truly believe that they will lift her spirits . I plan to respond to each of you personally, just to let you know how much your words meant.
In my last year of college, I took a class called The Art of Storytelling. Truth be told, I needed to fulfill an elective, and storytelling sounded dreamy and magical. What I got was a little less glamorous, but a whole lot more interesting. The class was all about the structure of a story, and the ways that we can engage the listener through body language and expression.
Twelve years later, and that one semester has paid off. Storytelling has become a pretty serious pastime in my house lately, and the boys are loving telling elaborate stories about space astronauts, comets and world cup soccer players. we have worked with storytelling in a few different ways recently, from giving each child a few objects, and asking them to create a story with them, to working with felt story boards.
When I first read Bernadette’s article in Rhythm of The Home, I realized that story boards were a great way to give children a space to create both a verbal story, as well as a physical picture of that story. Our story board has become a great spot for the boys to act out what ever is on their mind, or lose themselves in their imagination.
Since the storyboard has been such great fun, and since I am ALWAYS in need of something that will occupy the little ones in the car, or at the doctor’s office, etc, I thought that it would be neat to try and create a portable storyboard to take with us wherever we go.
Jacob and I talked a bit about what he thought that he would need from a board like this, and we came up with the size, and the fabrics that we wanted to use. I wanted to include my boys in sewing this project, so we kept it simple and fun
Cut your inside fabric (this is your board, and can be either flannel or felt) to 16.5 x 16.5. Cut your main fabric, and a medium to heavy weight fusible webbing (keep in mind that this needs to be rolled, and can not be too stiff) to the same dimensions.
Following manufacturers instructions, adhere your webbing to your main fabric.
Decide on what kind of ties you are going to use, and get them prepared. Once they are ready, you will place them in between your two fabrics (which are right sides together), and pin them into place.
Create a pocket to keep your felt characters in by using an 11.5 x 11.5 piece of fabric, folding in all of the sides by 1/4″, and then again by another 1/2″. Sew around all of your edges, then fold into an envelope and stitch up the sides to hold the envelope in place.
On the opposite side from your ties, open up your two fabrics (again, they are facing each other), and line up the bottom of your pocket with the edge of your fabrics. The front of the pocket should be facing the flannel or felt fabrics.
Beginning 1/2 way down one of the two sides that does not have any extras like pockets or ties, begin to sew using a 1/2 seam allowance. This is a really great project for children to practice or learn sewing, and it is easy to fix if anything goes a little awry.
Continue around all four sides of the board, stopping 3 inches before your starting point. Trim your corners, being careful not to cut your stitches, turn right side out, push your corners out, and press.
Using a zigzag stitch, stitch all the way around the entire board, being sure to catch your fabric from the original 3″ opening.
For my boys, we do a lot of character play with people, trucks, back grounds, etc. What is shown above is a simple few characters that are perfect for little ones to learn to tell stories.