“ Manufacturer: ELC / Type: Crafts / Age: 3 Years + „
ELC Funny Felt Faces
I used to love fuzzy felts when I was younger, and so I am not surprised that my little one loves them now. There is a whole range of different fuzzy felts available, and we have a few of these, all of which get mixed up in the different boxes, though sometimes this can make the 'games' more fun.
This particular set comes from the Early Learning Centre and retails at around £6.00 if memory serves. I have also seen this set on Ebay for £0.99, though when purchasing second hand, you never know if all the bits are actually in the box! What you should get in this set is two face boards and approximately 295 pieces of fuzzy felt in various shapes and colours. The fuzzy felt shapes all correspond to different parts of a face and are all on coloured felt sheets to begin with which you need to press out in order to use. This is a little time consuming and better for an adult to do rather than a young child otherwise you may find that the felt shapes may fray or tear.
The set is recommended for the ages of three years plus, and my little one has hours of fun creating different funny faces on the two boards. I have to admit, that even I have a lot of fun with this set!
I fully recommend any kind of fuzzy felt to young children as it really brings out their creative side, and this set is no difference. My little one loves making faces of herself, her friends and us - its quite amazing to see what she comes up with!
The Early Learning Centre Fuzzy Felt Faces are a brilliant learning tool. I buy, or ask the parents to buy a set for every child with autism that I work with. They are great for learning how to imitate and then a more advanced skill of recognising emotions and onto discussing why a person might feel like that. The reason that I like to use the fuzzy felt faces is because you can create so many different faces and change the expression in a second, faster than drawing. I like to use many different mediums. It also means that children can build their own faces, the children I work with that can't talk yet can use them to try and explain how they are feeling, if they know how to label emotions.
Typical children also enjoy making up the funny faces that are available with Fuzzy Felt Faces.
In the box, or tin as it is now-a-days, you get two boards, one with a long narrow face and another with a broader face with either a wider forehead or chin, depending on which way up you have it.. There are a selection of features of all the usual things that you would find on and around the face, in various colours.
This can be used as an educational toy, or simply for fun. I think that this toy would only entertain most children for half an hour to forty five minutes for each session but you come back to it each time with a fresh feeling. But it's worth the £6.00 that it costs, as you can use it time and again.
When I saw this toy on the shelf of ELC I was instantly transported back to my childhood and memories of our box of fuzzy felt. We used to spend hours playing with the stuff, making pictures of dinosaurs, animals and people. This is such a classic kids toy, how can you not have one in your toy cupboard?
I was really hoping that the modern version of fuzzy felt was not going to disappoint. The picture on the box looked great, with lots of examples of the funny faces that you could make with the pieces, but would the contents live up to my expectations?
In a word, Yes. This stuff is fantastic, and just as good as I remember it. A slight drawback is that you can't play with it straight away. The pieces are still attatched to the felt, which I think is a bit lazy on the part of the manufacturers! This means that you have to spend about 15 minutes popping all of the pre-cut felt shapes out of the felt, which is really boring, whilst at the same time listening to your little one whining about when the game is going to be ready.
The fun starts once all the pieces are ready. The game comes with two boards, one with a "fat" face on it and one with a "thin" face, both devoid of any features. You use the felt pieces to create eyes, hair, a nose, a mouth, freckles, accessories and facial hair for your character. Anything goes and the results can be hillarious.
Even very young children can recognise what makes a face, and this game helps them to create a likeness of a face, even before they are capable of drawing one. The felt pieces stick to the board, but can be taken off and repositioned easily, as they are nowhere near as sticky as velcro. You can experiemnt with different hair and eye colours, and it is fun to try and create a likeness of a family member or friend and get the child to guess who it is. There are so many pieces in the box, you always seem to have the right pieces available for what you need, although if anything, I would have added more black circles, as these make pupils for the eyes, and I always seem to get two pupils of different sizes, which make my characters look a bit ill!
If I could do anything to improve this product, it would have been to include a blank background in addition to the two face templates. This is because the pieces of felt can be used to make lots of different pictures and shouldn't just be limited to faces. It would be nice to let the child's imagination run completely free and let them make a picture of anything they like on the board.
This game can be played by very young children, even as young as 2, but obviously a parent needs to supervise them in case they put the felt in their mouth. My daughter, who is 7, still really enjoys playing with this game, as she is quite artistic and loves to experiment with the different features and hair, a bit like a beauty parlour. We have a game that we play where each of us takes a board and we try and see who can make the other person laugh first. We make really funny faces and then put up our boards at the same time. The one who laughs first is the loser.
My young son has very mild learning difficulties and problems with co-ordination. At first, he had real problems forming a face on the board, and needed lots of help. I think playing this game over time has helped him with his motor skills and co-ordination, as he is now much better at understanding what features make a face, and how to make the faces look funny. You can also help your child understand emotions, by making sad, or angry faces, and asking them how they think the person is feeling.
The obvious downside of fuzzy felt is the fact that it gets lost really easy, and a lot of it ends up getting sucked up the hoover. I have seen fuzzy felt sold in tins, but this set is in a cardboard box, which is not very secure. After a few months, the corners start to go on the box, and you will need to transfer your bits to a better container. In our house we have a few of these sets, and we tend to keep them together to mix and match as it allows more scope for creativity.
Funny Felt Faces
Face it...It is Fun!
The original 'Fuzzy Felts' were born in Buckinghamshire during the second world war when the wife of an RAF pilot decided she wanted to help with the 'war effort' in some way and began cutting felt for tanks and other vehicles. She and numerous other women started working together and soon realised the fun their children had from simply playing with the excess felt and encouraged them to create pictures from the felt which is where the Fuzzy Felt sets began. It was first properly launched in 1950 and has become a huge success throughout the years and now many other sets have come onto the market from other companies. These other sets do not sport the 'Fuzzy Felt' name, though are basically the same thing as those original ones.
I remember having Fuzzy Felt playsets when I was younger and had hours of fun, so when I saw this set from ELC for a very low price I decided that I had to get it for my daughter.
The set comes in a basic box packaging with lift off lid. The box is decorated in orange and red colours, showing the set in simplicity on the top of the box. The bottom of the box is a plain white though it is the top of the box which catches the eye of children.
The set comes from Early Learning Centre (ELC) and comes complete with the following;
Two face boards
295 pieces of differently shaped coloured felt pieces
When you first open the box, you will find the two cards alongside many different pieces of coloured felt, approximately two per colour (about 14 with a couple of colours having only one sheet). These felt pieces have many little pieces upon them in various different shapes which can easily be popped out of the sheets to create the pieces for the faces. Some pieces are very small and thin and do rip when you get them out so you may loose some before the child has even begun to play, and this will especially happen if a young child tries to do it for you as we found with my daughter. Luckily, with 295 pieces and many shapes the same, you don't really notice those few lost ones. The shapes are mainly obvious as to what it is meant to be for, ie a big red circle or a pink nose shape for the nose area, though some are oddly shaped though this is all part of the fun with making all different faces. With so many pieces, there are so many different ways of creating the faces. Once out of the sheets of felt, the pieces are not as easily ripped apart from a few thin pieces. Each felt piece is reasonably thick though this does not stop it 'sticking' to the cards.
As with all types of felt craft such as this, the boards are made of an opposing material to the felt so that the pieces of felt 'stick' onto the board. This they do very well and most of them stay on even when you shake the boards. They also come off of the boards easily when you need them too which is great for small hands. Layering the pieces sit fine on one another until you pick up the board as two felts together do not have that sticky effect.
The two boards have two different shaped face areas (one on each), the first thin and the other fatter. My daughter finds it very funny do make the faces upside-down to what I originally put them so they can be used any way the child chooses. The card fronts are a little rougher than the felt due to the 'sticky' material on them though they are certainly not scratchy. They are also quite thick so it does take a good amount of child force to bend them which is a plus.
Overall, the appearance and presentation of the set is not spectacular though is just perfect for these types of sets and my daughter loves it. It is true what they say in the title - some really funny faces can be made with this set.
CREATE A FACE
This set is recommended for three years plus due to the small parts of some of the fuzzy felt pieces though this can be overcome by either taking away the smaller pieces or keeping an eye on your child when playing this. I opted for the second part as my daughter is very good when it comes to not putting things in her mouth though I always keep a close eye on her just in case she is preoccupied and one slips up to her mouth which has not happened at all. My daughter turned two a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoys this set, so much that I plan on getting her some other fuzzy felt type sets this year.
The question of whether a two year old is actually able to understand how to do this may be in some peoples minds though my daughter has no problems at all. It only took her a couple of tries whilst me and daddy played it with her for her to learn and understand what she needed to do and now I am fascinated as I watch her choose different pieces and put the eyes, nose, mouth and so forth all in the right places as to where they are meant to be on a face. She has come up with some really great faces and loves playing with the set. We get a lot of laughter when she shows me her completed face picture and loves taking them all off and starting again. Of course, with all the many pieces of felt, mess can be an issue though my daughter has started listening to me when I say to her to take out only what she needs, the rest she keeps in the box until she wants them, though even then, we often find pieces of felt hidden under the sofa!
This is one set that even I don't mind sitting and playing with my daughter for a length of time as not only does it bring back memories of when I was a child and had these sets but it also keeps me entertained as I also create faces. Who would have known a childs set like this can entertain an adult (actually a few of her toys do though I am saying nothing!!).
Packing up the set is easy enough apart from when you have to hunt the pieces over the floor! All pieces fit nicely back into the box though the lid is a little loose and if dropped then you face a large mess to clear up so I use a little selotape on the lid to secure it better.
The educational value of this set mainly focuses upon creativity and artistically which is something that I hold highly. The child also learns other such things as face shapes and hand eye co-ordination.
This set comes from the Early Learning Centre and can be brought for £6.00 which is actually a decent price for ELC. I think that this price is well worth the set, even though I was able to secure it for less than £1.00 new from Ebay so do look around if you want a lower price, even though the set is reasonably priced as it is.
I love this set! My daughter loves this set! It is a different 'game' every time and my daughter has never got bored of it so far. Although for age three plus I would say two years plus is fine as long as attention is paid to the smaller parts. Of course there is the mess factor though I am one of those parents who would rather my child have fun and then we can clear up together afterwards (still working on the together part!).
I would fully recommend this set to all those with young children, male or female, and I look forward to finding more sets like this for my daughter.