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I used to love fuzzy felt as a child and thought it was a long gone toy. In this age of electronic everything I didn't think fuzzy little pieces of felt that you stuck onto a board to make pictures would satisfy the youth of today but how wrong I was as on a recent visit to The Early Learning Centre we found boxes and boxes of the stuff all with different patterns and designs. One of the designs that really caught our eye was Fuzzy-felt Under the Sea. We had just been on a trip to the Aquarium in Birmingham and my daughter loved all the fish and looking at them in their natural habitat so we thought she would really like this version of the fuzzy felt.
According to an article I read, "Fuzzy-Felt was created by Lois Allan during the second world war. Allan, who contributed to the war effort by "manufacturing felt gaskets for sealing tank components", was inspired to create the toy after observing how much enjoyment children had taking the discarded and misshaped pieces of felt and sticking them to the backs of table mats."
Its a very popular toy. Every kid I knew growing up had a set and apparently since its creation in the 1950's, more than 25million Fuzzy Felt sets have been sold internationally. I think the reason why it was so fun is that you could create lots of great pictures and then if you didn't like it you could start over again.
In this set the pictures are really simple to make although there are some shapes and fish that are a little bit harder to make. The set came with a backing board which has a bit of a texture to it to enable the pieces to hold onto the board and not fall off if you moved the board. This board is blue which I guess is quite fitting given the fact that we are "under the sea".Quite a few of the shapes are just one piece of felt and so they are easy to add to your picture as they provide a silhouettes shape. For example there are single pieces of brush and plant life that live in the bottom of the sea as well as mermaids and anchors and shells. I think these pieces really add to the picture and stimulate the imagination and make it more fun.
The really fun parts though in this set in my opinion are the animals that need eyes added to them. The eyes are white and make the animals really come to life and make them look more real which I like. They are made out of quite bold colours such as green, red and yellow and I find it good to ask my daughter to find the yellow fish for example so its helping her to learn colours and animals too. There are over 100 fuzzy-felt pieces so you can make a completely different picture every time.
The set is for ages 3-6 which I think is about fair and is available at The Early Learning Centre.