Felt Learning


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Review by Linda K. Foster

Betty Lukens takes the use of felt to a new level beginning with the inspirational Through The Bible In Felt series and expanding to include a basic educational series.  Through The Bible In Felt provides an interactive method of illustrating any New or Old Testament bible story and teaching Christian values through the use of felt figures and objects applied to colorful backgrounds.   By applying felt figures to a variety of indoor and outdoor background scenes, students are more able to gain an understanding of bible stories by actually re-creating scenes from the stories.  The basic set includes 600 figures and objects, which are ready to cut out and apply to the backgrounds.  Also included is a Teacher’s Manual with 182 stories and two detailed pictures illustrating scene arrangements for each bible story, and a hillside overlay.  The sets come in two sizes; small includes figures and objects for use on 16 x 24” backgrounds and large includes figures and objects for use on 32” x 48” backgrounds.  Deluxe sets for use with 10 or more students are also available. 

Betty Lukens
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Betty Lukens also offers a variety of Interactive Soft Storybooks full of colorful and background pages and moveable felt characters and objects used to stimulate the creative minds of children of all ages.  Children are able to re-create well-known fairy tales or can create their own stories.  For younger children a Basic Learning Skills storybook offers a “learn as they play” approach, teaching such things as colors, shapes, numbers, days, months, time, etc.   Use of the storybooks not only helps to stimulate the imagination, it also helps develop hand-eye coordination as the child moves figures around on the pages.  For older children, the Home and Family set provides an opportunity to create stories revolving around family life and African Safari and Days of the Dinosaurs allows children to “experience the action and excitement of a real-life safari” and to “explore the mysterious world of the dinosaurs.” 

In addition to the soft storybooks, a number of educational and play sets are available.   Using the Dress Up Dolls sets, children are able to learn about different ethnic groups, cultures and career cultures.  Educational sets include backgrounds and figures for such things as the ocean and sea, the rainforest, children around the world and even the human anatomy.

My only “complaint” with these products would be the potential difficulty for some children to cut out the figures properly without becoming frustrated.   It would probably be best to have someone with a bit of patience cut out the figures prior to making them available for use.   Once the figures and objects are ready to go, though, the experience should inspire many hours of imaginative play.

While the primary focus of products available from Betty Lukens focuses on Christian teachings and values, the products are designed in such a way that they can be in both secular and non-secular settings.  The underlying focus of these products is the stimulation of the child’s imagination while, at the same, providing an interactive learning atmosphere.

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