“Family Stories on Felt,” Ensign, Jan. 1980, 67
Are you looking for a new way to teach your children about their progenitors? Try writing a flannel board story.
Using family histories, reprints of old journals, summaries given at family reunions, or other sources, study the life of the relative you have chosen. As you read, jot down information for your story. Focus on one incident rather than an entire life history.
Then cut simple figures (including sun, trees, boxes, shovel, etc.) from felt, or draw figures on paper and back them with iron-on interfacing. (See Ensign, October 1978, p. 63.) Write down the story chronologically, keeping all names, dates, places, and quotes intact. Then tell it in family home evening. After one or two hearings, children as young as two or three will be able to use the figures to tell the story themselves.
Other types of visual aids work well, too. Ten families in our family organization cooperated in a project to tell the ten different stories of progenitors. Each provided a well-made visual aid. There were stick puppets, jig saw puzzles, transparent overlays, cards stapled to popsicle sticks, flip charts, etc., as well as flannel-board stories.
Our family genealogists were able to tell us where we would obtain stories of our ancestors. Each family made ten copies of its story and visual aid, and we all exchanged them.
We have been excited in our family organization, not only to have ten complete ancestor stories for our children, but to have the unity that a shared project brings. Elaine C. Brewster, Salt Lake City, Utah