“ Brand: Toymasters / Type: Crafts „
I saw the Fuzzy Felt boxes in my local toy shop and they brought back memories of when I was a child happily making scenes with my box of fuzzy felt. I decided it would be a great present for my daughter and put it away until Christmas.
I was very excited to see her reaction to this - would it be the same as mine 30 years ago??? - unfortunately not. I guess these days toys have improved so much that this just wasn't anything special.
In the box you get a board and then approximately 30 felt shapes which stick to the board. The pieces came in different colours - mainly yellow, red, brown, green and white. The felt pieces include a variety of different animals and a tree etc. You can then arrange these on the board in different ways to make your picture scene. They can easily be taken off to rearrange and make new pictures.
Fuzzy Felt costs anywhere from about £6 up depending on the set you choose.
My daughter was not impressed. You see she had also been given a set of Felt from Early Learning Centre and the felt pieces were far more interesting - had faces and details etc on them rather than just the animal shape. She had far more fun playing with this and to be honest I don't think the original Fuzzy Felt box has seen the light of day again.
I do think the concept is good and that children as young as 2 can use their imagination and make pictures with them. It is great because there is no mess involved. Unfortunately though as much as I hate to say it I do think Toymasters need to update the product to make it appeal to kids in the 21st century.
Ah I thought this would be a non messy way of my daughter creating a lovely picture, I was half right.
My daughter is two and a half but very advanced for her age so as this set stated for ages 3-6 I thought it would be fine for her as long as she was supervised. She was bought this at Christmas and she wasn't yet two so I put it away for a little while and now she cant get enough of the stuff.
This really is a magic toy for encouraging imaginative and creative play. My daughter and I sit for ages making pictures with several different kits combined, we often add animals from this kit to our work and make up stories about the scenes. I expect when she is learning to write I will still be using this method of play to encourage her with some creative righting.
The boards and pieces in this pack are nice and vibrant colours there is no glittery ones like in some of the other packs but the bold colours catch your eye. I feel that the felt pieces could be thicker as not to tear sometimes when being removed from there backing.
If your child is young this also helps with there dexterity in there fingertips and there hand eye fine motor control. It can also help give your child a lot of self confidence to know they created a picture from scratch that actually looks like something not just colourful wiggles.
I will just say that you know your own child and due to the small pieces of felt in this set supervise the younger ones at all times. This advice is especially relevant if your child is one who likes to suck it and see when they play, in short if that is the case then this is not a good toy partly due to the possibility of choking and partly due to soggy bits of felt are not the nicest thing to play with.
The only problems I have with fussy felt are that it is so good at adhering it adheres to my carpet and every bit of fluff and hair it can find which is a bit of a pain but when compared to scrubbing out paint or glitter glue it is nothing.
Despite the mini moans this is a must for every child but try and get them started nice an early so they can learn to be creative themselves.
8 / 10
I'm having a bit of a post-Christmas declutter at the minute and have decided to be ruthless and get rid of all those toys that aren't played with any more and aren't fit to pass on to any more children. Amongst the pile are two boxes of Fuzzy Felt - both presents that my oldest son received from his Aunty a few years ago.
Despite being in my early thirties, I didn't have a Fuzzy Felt set as a child and I think I may feel differently about them if I had. My husband was really excited when the first set arrived in our household. He had many happy memories of sitting playing with various felt shapes as a child, creating different scenes using the board provided.
My then four year old was not quite as impressed by the sight of some random felt shapes in a box. I know that these sets should inspire creativity and imagination but, to be honest, I think a few figures or a paper and crayons provides just as much opportunity to be creative and imaginative. The set still follows the same principles as the original sets (from as far back as the 1950s) and simply includes a small rough 'playboard', about thirty or so small felt shapes and an 'ideas leaflet' (although our leaflet went astray some time ago.) These are recommended for children aged between 3-6 years old.
The felt shapes are supposed to be 'brightly coloured' but I find them surprisingly dull and the pictures that can be created with these tiny little shapes end up being fairly predictable. This set contains a few tree shapes, grass shapes and the majority of the shapes are animals so it is fairly obvious how the different shapes are likely to be positioned. Despite promising 'hours of creative fun', this set only ever resulted in a few minutes of joyless felt sticking, followed by ten minutes of stretching the shapes into totally unrecognisable shapes and another ten minutes of me moaning at my son to tidy them away as they lay strewn across the carpet!
As well as the Pets set, my oldest son received the Jungle set but, to be honest, after a few plays either set could be the other as the felt shapes become misshapen very quickly and soon cease to resemble whatever creature they did originally. I suppose I should be grateful that these are relatively mess-free and don't need any glue, batteries, scissors or anything else designed to create mess and mayhem. I think my son would have preferred something along those lines and would have been far more creative than he ever was with a few random felt shapes! I did save these and have got the boxes out on a few occasions for my youngest son but his reaction was pretty similar and he soon got bored with the felt and it just ended up littering the carpet. I dare say if I had been more enthusiastic about Fuzzy Felt, my boys may have been too but I find it totally uninspiring and won't be sad to see the back of it.
Packing the boxes away, I do feel a little guilty about dismissing such a nostalgic toy in this way. The history of Fuzzy Felt is printed on the bottom of each set and, apparantly, the original shapes were created as a by-product from a factory creating accessories for war vehicles. The pack also goes on to describe how the sets can be used for imagination, socialisation and education. It all sounds very impressive and I wish I felt more kindly towards these sets, but I don't. My sons and I just find that Fuzzy Felt is lacking in the fun factor. Whilst we wouldn't recommend them, other households might have warmer memories of days spent making felt scenes and am sure that enthusiasm could be passed on to children.
Sets can be purchased from Toys R Us, amongst other places, for around £5-£10, dependent on the design.
I remember hours of fun as a child with Fuzzy Felt. When out with my other half one day we came across a box and both said how we'd enjoyed playing with our sets so we got a big box for the kids and cousins to play with at a family dinner that weekend.
I was rather excited to show the kids the fun of Fuzzy Felt!
I shouldn't have gotten so excited as the kids of today are more interested in games that talk back and move! The evil children weren't at all interested. The 4 year old ended up the only one interested and so she had 2 adults playing with it at the table whilst the rest of the demons were running around outside or on the Playstation.
Fuzzy Felt first came onto the market in the 1950's and for those of you who aren't familiar with Fuzzy Felt it is basically felt shapes which you can stick to a board to create a scene. We were making farmyard scenes with the set we had.
I think these days fuzzy Felt and such toys aren't really going to last. The babies are trying to eat it and then there is only a year or so between then and when they're not interested. I remember having fun with them, (given we only had 3 television stations!)
If you find yourself with a child who will appreciate Fuzzy Felt you'll be happy to know that there are a huge number of sets ranging from pets to space adventures. Our farmyard set was about £7 but obviously each set will be differently priced.
Safety warning: Due to choking hazard this toy is only recommended for children over the age of 3 years.
© oioiyou 2009
Fuzzy-Felt Classic sets contain one board with pre-cut silhouette felt shapes. A favourite for over 50 years!