Hi everyone! Today I thought I would share a fun visual aid that I created to use when I talk about the weather with my little ones. I have been meaning to make one of these since we started doing tot school, but am just now getting around to it. Better late than never, I say!
To start with, I decided I just wanted five basic symbols; sunny, rainy, cloudy, snowy, and windy. I debated even adding “windy” to the mix because it is a bit abstract, but since it is a word in our weather song, the little ones know the sign for it and we also talk about it quite regularly when we read one of their favorite Winnie the Pooh books. We’ll have to fly a kite on a windy day soon!
To create the symbols, I did a quick Google search and found several free pdf templates for felt weather symbols. My favorite can be found here from While She Naps, along with a detailed tutorial on how she created her own weather feltboard. I simply downloaded her template page, printed it, and traced the symbols onto freezer paper. Then I ironed the freezer paper symbols onto colored felt and cut out the pieces using a small, sharp pair of scissors.
For the sun, I used light yellow for the outside and darker yellow for the inside, just like the original tutorial. To keep the pieces from shifting under the machine needle, I used some temporary spray adhesive (or basting adhesive) to stick the pieces together before sewing. Then I topstitched around the dark yellow circle with yellow thread that I had in my stash.
Next I cut out three white clouds using the tiny templates provided. I used my spray to baste them together and then topstitched around them, which served to attach them together and also to make them look a little puffy, like real clouds!
For the raincloud, I did not have gray felt so I chose to make the cloud purple. I cut two identical purple clouds and sandwiched my lightning bolt and part of a raindrop between them. After adhering the pieces together with some spray, I topstitched all around the cloud, trapping the raindrop and lightning bolt in the purple sandwich. The two additional raindrops are attached with a few tiny hand stitches.
To spice up the snowflake and make it a little more substantial, I decided to use topstitching to attach it to a lighter blue background. I used a cup to trace a circle onto my felt and then used pinking shears to cut it out. I drew lines using a ruler and water-soluble marker where I wanted the topstitching to go, basted the two pieces together with my adhesive spray, and then used matching thread to sew over my marks.
Finally, for the kite, I first cut a whole diamond kite piece from a scrap of purple felt. Then, I cut my kite pattern into quarters along the lines that are pre-drawn on the template and cut those pieces from bright pink and blue felt. I assembled those pieces on top of the diamond, adhered them together, and then used a tight zigzag to sew them down. I used a blanket stitch around the outside of the kite just for variety. I attached a white piece of yarn to the back of the kite using a few hand stitches, and then sewed two “bow sandwiches” onto the string. My hand stitching leaves much to be desired here, but I was racing to finish before the end of nap time, and I didn’t think the little ones would mind I kinda’ like the imperfect look on this one, don’t you?
To create my board, I used a piece of black foam core board from my stash and cut a 12 x18″ piece. Then I took two whole pieces of craft felt (9 x 12″) and used hot glue around their perimeters to attach them side-by-side to the foam board. Lastly, I used some green ribbon to trim the edges, attaching with the hot glue.
And there you have it! The blue half of the board is where today’s weather symbol will be displayed, while the other symbols will live on the yellow side. After introducing this to the twins this afternoon, I think I will put velcro on the back of the symbols to help them stick to the board a little more firmly.